The newly created Forensic Capability Network has appointed its first highly skilled recruits, as nine specialists from fields including science and quality join the national network.

Following a £28.6m investment in forensics by the Home Office for 2020-21, FCN’s new starters will work across all four of its core services – science, quality, operations and commercial.

The network is set to formally launch in April 2020, after a second wave of new starters joins in March. FCN continues to actively recruit for several highly skilled roles in science, quality, commercial and operations. More information will become available at

At a senior level, Deborah Pendry joins FCN as Director of Quality and Kirsty Faulkner as Director of Operations.

Deborah has 26 years of experience in quality, standards and accreditation, most recently at East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) Forensic Services where she was Head of Quality, Training and Performance. At FCN, she will spearhead the community’s response to challenges across quality and accreditation, the pace of technological change and increasing demand, and creating a cohesive forensic science landscape.

Four other FCN recruits in the field include a Training and Competency Manager, Validation Specialist, Quality Manager and Quality Officer.

Director of Operations, Kirsty Faulkner, joins the Forensic Capability Network with 25 years’ forensics and operational expertise. With senior roles in the Home Office and National Policing Improvement Agency, Kirsty also previously headed up the National DNA Database, National Footwear Database and was Custodian of police collections for the fingerprint database. She will be joined by a newly hired Operations Services Manager.

A Research and Development Manager has also been recruited, focused on identifying and introducing innovative new forensic approaches and technologies. The final new starter is a Communications and Stakeholder Manager responsible for raising awareness of FCN among forces.

Welcoming the network’s first recruits, Joanne Ashworth OBE, Programme Director for Transforming Forensics, which is delivering the FCN, said: “Appointing FCN’s first permanent recruits is an important milestone for the network. We have established a highly experienced and credible team, which I’m confident will enable us to achieve FCN’s ambitions.

“This is a hugely exciting time to be working in forensics. The government has made forensics a priority in its latest funding announcement, and there is real innovation to be seized upon. I’d encourage specialists in various fields to take a look at our remaining vacancies.”

Following confirmation of FCN’s funding, a draft Section 22A agreement setting out how the network will operate and its governance arrangements will be shared with forces in the coming weeks.

For more news and updates on the Forensic Capability Network, visit