The Forensic Capability Network (FCN) will provide national forensics support to aid policing’s fight against drink spiking and needle injection crimes.

Drug spiking

In October, the NPCC Drugs Portfolio led by DCC Jason Harwin instigated a strategic coordinating group in response to increased reporting of crimes related to drink spiking and emerging crimes linked to needle injection.

When the issue was widely reported in the media, FCN received several requests from police forces for nationally coordinated forensic guidance. Now the community has commissioned FCN’s Science Director, Vickie Burgin, to lead a Silver group on toxicology and other relevant forensic sciences.

Working alongside the Metropolitan Police’s Dean Ames, the group will develop a forensics strategy and long-term guidance for policing.

It will feed into cross-law enforcement work taking place by NPCC Leads, ROCUs, NCA, APCC and other partners.

FCN is also working with forensic service providers Cellmark and Eurofins Forensic Services, which have provided advice when considering the use of field test kits.

It is recognised that early progression of these cases to identify whether or not a drug has been administered is crucial to the investigation.

Consequently, work is now progressing at pace to access additional capacity within the marketplace to accommodate submissions, without adding to the current toxicology casework backlog, and a proposed approach will be provided within the coming days.

For further information or enquiries please contact Vickie Burgin, FCN Director of Science.