As the National Forensics Lead for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) it’s great to be able to share with you some of my views in this latest programme update.

I have been really enthused by the fantastic work going on nationally in such an important area of policing, at the forefront of this work is creation of the Forensic Capability Network (FCN).

Forensics is an area of policing where the UK has historically been seen to excel. As something that underpins every investigation and has an impact on each victim of crime and every local community, it’s important we continue to do exactly that.

The challenges that exist are no secret. The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee recently painted a stark picture of the issues we face in forensics. The recent Home Office Joint Review of forensics and importantly its associated implementation plan, highlight both the Government’s desire for and its commitment to ensure immediate and sustainable change.

As a chief constable or a PCC, balancing local priorities effectively against a national portfolio of work is the proverbial wrestling match. But it would be difficult to find anyone who believes we can implement sustainable change without working closely at both national and local level. Working to influence at a national level I can see how this helps ensure that effective change filters down to local communities.

It’s very clear to me that the benefits of the Transforming Forensics Programme don’t just sit centrally, but instead they are, and will continue to be felt in a tangible way in every community across the UK.

The Capability Maturity Model report is a great piece of work that provides a firm evidence base from which to build.  I know my counterparts across forces will have welcomed its publication, as they will the release of the FCN Prospectus later this month. It will bring clarity about what services and support will be available through the FCN to enhance our forensic capabilities at local, regional and national level.

I believe the FCN will go a long way to ensuring that the right support will be available to allow us to continue to excel across the field of forensics, a truly exciting area of policing to be involved in.