The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has named its new national forensic lead as Darryl Preston, the newly elected PCC for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

As forensic lead, Darryl will provide leadership and governance to help develop specialist capability networks like FCN, and help deliver more efficient and agile policing services to the public.

Before becoming PCC, Darryl served as both a front-line and neighbourhood police officer for 30 years, including a decade in the Metropolitan Police and 20 years in Cambridgeshire. After retiring from the force, he joined APCC as a senior official where he developed strategic positions and lobbied government on topics such as serious violence, economic crime and sexual offences legislation.

Forensics is one of six APCC portfolios within the theme of ‘developing police capabilities and tackling serious and organised crime’, alongside portfolios such as serious organised crime and counter terrorism. The previous APCC forensic lead was former Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill who retired in May. Darryl is also joint lead for the data and bioethics working group alongside Alun Michael.

Congratulating Darryl on the role, FCN’s CEO Jo Ashworth said:

“Darryl is a highly experienced and astute person, and we’re very pleased he has taken on what is a complex and critical portfolio. He recognises that policing sorely needs a national forensic capability and has a clear focus on improving forensic science provision.

“We’ve worked with him previously at the APCC, where he was a positive influence in the early days of the Transforming Forensics programme. We really look forward to working with him again.”

The APCC and NPCC forensic leads work together to oversee the portfolio. NPCC’s current forensic portfolio holder, Dorset Chief Constable James Vaughan, retires this October and the NPCC is currently recruiting a new lead.