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Science in Action
Case Study: DNA

Science is helping to shape the future of the National DNA Database (NDNAD).

Current stakeholder priorities:

  • improving service provision to users;
  • developing more flexible reporting processes to provide more appropriate, consistent and understandable information to investigators and prosecutors;
  • exploiting developments in DNA Chemistry;
  • exploring ways to enhance profile storage, interpretation, comparison and reporting.

Science’s role currently includes:

  • working with the FCN Community and other stakeholders to capture and prioritise law enforcement’s requirements for new developments in DNA, aligned to Policing Vision 2025;
  • creating a 10-year capability roadmap to drive business transformation in DNA;
  • developing a requirement for a new DNA operating model describing new DNA services and capturing the business change necessary for successful delivery.

As the project progresses, Science’s role will expand to include:

  • helping to shape the resulting trials, ensuring that they have appropriate statistical rigour;
  • leading on evaluating trial results;
  • publishing trial results and including them within the FCN’s Knowledge Base;
  • preparing guidance and capability adoption toolkits to help FCN members get ready for introduction of the new capabilities.
Case Study: Digital forensics

Supported by the emerging FCN, the Metropolitan Police Service is leading a proof of concept research trial involving automated mass ingestion and remote search and review capabilities. The focus area is child abuse imagery and the intended purpose of the new capabilities is to automate the initial stages of the forensic workflow. This should free up examiners to work on the more specialist areas of interpretation and review, and enable the remote search and review of digital data by investigating officers via a user-friendly networked platform, thereby reducing uncontrolled copying and transfer of forensic data and streamlining the investigative phase of an enquiry.

The objectives of the trial are to:

  • conduct a high-level assessment of the change in process times achievable by introducing new processes for automatic mass ingestion and remote search and review, to enable modelling of costs and benefits for future implementations;
  • assess the effect of the new processes on users, including their satisfaction with the new processes and how they affect their investigative activities and risk judgements;
  • gain an understanding of the issues that could affect implementation of the new processes to facilitate planning for adoption in other forces.

Science’s role for this and for future capabilities involves:

  • working with the FCN community to identify opportunities and agree priorities;
  • identifying and securing research and development funding (in this case Police Transformation Funding through the Transforming Forensics Programme);
  • working with the FCN community to identify a FCN member to lead the trial;
  • helping to shape the trial, ensuring that it has appropriate statistical rigour;
  • leading on evaluating the results of the trial;
  • publishing the results of the trial and including them within the FCN’s knowledge base;
  • preparing, in the event of a successful trial, guidance and capability adoption toolkits to help FCN members get ready for introduction of the new capabilities.
Identifying and exploiting opportunities so members can meet future challenges by having the people, knowledge, skills and specialist tools and capabilities they will need.
Achieving and maintaining quality service with efficient, standardised processes, and to act as a single voice with key standards and accreditation stakeholders.
Maximising resilience and effectiveness through the design, introduction and maintenance of new ICT platforms, tools, operating models and business change support.
Designing, developing and maintaining a sustainable and forward-looking commercial marketplace for both traditional and digital forensic science