The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is pleased to announce the first police force to gain accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 for the examination of scenes of crime.
Bedfordshire Police (the legal entity under which forensic services are delivered to Bedfordshire Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Cambridgeshire Constabulary) have been granted accreditation for scene activities undertaken in relation to Volume Crime at their Hatfield site.
The accreditation process requires that forensic units demonstrate their impartiality, the suitability of their methods and processes, the suitability of the equipment they use, and the demonstrable technical competence of staff involved.
More specifically the UKAS assessments for scene of crime not only include a review of any testing performed at the scene, but also the manner in which scene strategies are set, anti-contamination measures are employed and how the integrity of items collected can be assured.
Therefore, accreditation of the scene related activities provides additional confidence not only to the forensic units conducting the scene of crime activity, but also to the forensic units undertaking the subsequent testing of the items collected at the scene and therefore adds strength to the whole chain of evidence.
Commenting on the grant of accreditation Gill Tully, the Forensic Science Regulator said:
“This first grant of accreditation for police crime scene investigation is a very welcome step forward in assuring the quality of the end to end forensic science process and I congratulate all of those involved.”
Stuart Brennan, the Head of Scientific Services for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces said :
“Being the first police force to gain accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 for the examination of Volume Crime scenes is a fantastic achievement for us. It has been a real team effort and the grant of accreditation is testament to both the work that has been put in, and also to the culture within our scene of crime teams”
UKAS would like to congratulate Bedfordshire Police on being the first police force to gain accreditation for scene of crime and look forward to working with them, and colleagues from other police forces, to ensure the continued confidence in this critical activity.
The Forensic Science Regulator recently published Regulatory Notice 03/2020 detailing the deadline of the 1st October 2021 for the accreditation of organisations conducting incident scene investigation.