Laboratories that provide the five East Midlands police forces with Forensic services have been upgraded with new kit – including a new machine that improves the ability to detect fingerprints on knives.
Part of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, the Forensics team works on approximately 2800 cases per year, finding answers for the victims of crime across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
The refurbishment has created more space for new equipment, futureproofed the area for more kit, and has been rearranged for better ways of working.
An improved layout means that better professional discussions between Forensic teams can take place about exhibits and cases, which has cut down process times - allowing a better service to the forces and victims of crime.
Forensic Apprentice Virginia Fletcher said: “The lab refurbishments are just amazing, they were much needed and have made our base a much nicer place to work.
“Working with our managers, we have been able to create a culture of pride within our workspace, whilst bringing leading technology into our region that will really help with investigations.”
One piece of kit in particular is leading the way in Forensic investigations and is able to better highlight fingerprints that appear on knives.
According to the ONS, a total of 48,931 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument were recorded by UK police forces in the year ending March 2022.
Andrew Price, Director of Corporate, Forensic and Technical Services for the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “Stories around knife crime seem to dominate the headlines on a weekly basis, so we want people in the East Midlands to feel safer knowing that we have state-of-the-art kit that can help us find prints on knives that are sent to us.
“We are committed to supporting our police forces in identifying those that carry and use knives, which can have devastating consequences for everyone involved.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry added: “The cutting-edge refurbishment of the Forensics Lab should assure victims of crime that we are at the forefront of technological advancements to ensure we can obtain best evidence.
“The improvements mean that investigations can be the more efficient and effective which will lead to more convictions of criminals.
“Forensic investigations can now be taken to the next level thanks to the upgrades put into place.”
The lab was officially opened by Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, and managers from EMSOU-FS on Friday 11 November 2022.
Old and surplus equipment that was in the lab before the refurb was donated to Ukraine. Read more on that here.