The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) has formally appointed Joanne Ashworth OBE as its interim Chief Executive Officer for six months.

Jo will continue to cover her existing role as Programme Director for the NPCC's Transforming Forensics (TF) programme alongside the new temporary position.

With 32 years' expertise in forensics, Jo has led several successes within the programme since 2017 and is spearheading a renewed focus on a digital forensics strategy. Previously Director of Forensic Services at the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, she also worked in the Forensic Science Service for several years.

To provide more capacity at a senior level and additional impetus behind the digital forensic strategy, Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan will join Transforming Forensics as Deputy Programme Director until the end of the year.

Chief Constable James Vaughan, NPCC Lead for Forensics and Senior Responsible Owner for the Transforming Forensics (TF) programme, said:

"In its inaugural year, FCN requires experienced and skilful leadership. 

"We have explored the long-term appointment of a permanent CEO for FCN, but are not in a position to do this yet because of the temporary hosting arrangements currently in place at Dorset Police and the relatively short-term secure funding for the network.

"Jo has been undertaking this joint role by default since FCN began operating last year in response to some of the national critical incidents surrounding forensics. Under her leadership, both the FCN and programme teams have already made exciting and rapid progress. "

FCN and Transforming Forensics operate closely together to support the forensics community in England and Wales. FCN represents and connects more than 4,000 forensic practitioners across 43 police forces, while the Transforming Forensics programme creates new products, services and capabilities to be used by forces.

An executive appointment into FCN is expected to be advertised and recruited in the normal way this autumn.

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