FCN manages and oversees the SFR process on behalf of policing and the criminal justice system. The national guidance document and suite of forms were created through a period of extensive consultation with stakeholders including police forces, CPS, forensic service providers (FSPs), the defence and have received the support of the Senior Presiding Judge.
The templates give practitioners tools for a consistent approach to reporting forensic outcomes, allowing investigations and prosecutions to be progressed fairly and effectively using high-quality, relevant forensic science.
Ultimately, the aim is to deliver proportionate forensic evidence that meets the needs of all parties, at every stage in the criminal justice process.
SFR forms below were updated in January 2021 and whilst we have not undertaken a full review of the SFR Templates and Annexes during the latest SFR Guidance review, we would like to draw your attention to the SFR2 Annex A, which has now been reissued (June 2021). For the avoidance of doubt and to ensure absolute clarity of reporting, there is an additional declaration to certify compliance with the requirements of CrimPR 19.4(e)iii in relation to the Forensic Examination Record. We continue to encourage organisations to transition to these new forms as soon as possible to promote compliance and mitigate risk of challenge within the CJS, recognising the incredible amount of work already undertaken by many organisations.
Discipline specific examples were removed from the website temporarily and have now been transferred to the new Jan 2021 format. We will continue to upload these updated examples over the coming weeks.
The SFR Guidance document has been reviewed and version 2 has now been published. On behalf of the community, FCN continue to seek clarification with regards to the CPS approved scope of digital reporting, and accreditation declaration requirements in light of v7 of the FSR Codes. Any changes or amendments to these areas will be fully documented in supplementary Briefing Notes, published on the FCN website SFR page and circulated widely to the community as soon as possible. The previously published ‘Latest Accreditation Briefing Note’ has now been incorporated within version 2 of the SFR Guidance and has been removed from the web site.
FCN invites members of the policing, CJS, FSP, defence and judiciary community to get involved in shaping the future of SFR. We initially ask you to check the list of approved forensic disciplines and ensure they are compliant; any extensions to this scope need to be approved by the National SFR Board.