NPIA seeks partners to develop new crime scene technology

A new initiative is to be launched by the National Policing Improvement
Agency (NPIA) to help police forces in the UK save up to £3 million a
year spent on analysing crime scene samples.

Dec 8, 2011
By Paul Jacques
Custody photos of Danny Brown, Stefan Baldauf, Peter Murray, Tony Borg, Leon Reilly and Philip Lawson

A new initiative is to be launched by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to help police forces in the UK save up to £3 million a year spent on analysing crime scene samples.

The agency is seeking private sector partners to help develop cutting-edge technology that will enable crime scene investigators to identify quickly whether forensic evidence contains human DNA. This will enable forces to decide whether to send the sample to an approved forensic laboratory to produce a DNA profile that can be searched against the National DNA Database.

The aim is to have the new technology operational in spring 2012.

Currently, forces spend millions of pounds sending crime scene samples to laboratories for screening only to learn that no human DNA is present.

More details about the NPIA project will be unveiled at a supplier event on December 15 at the agency’s CSI training centre at Harperley Hall, in Durham. The NPIA is urging interested companies to attend the event.

Simon Bramble, Head of Police Science and Forensics at the NPIA, said: “This represents a great opportunity for private sector expertise to be involved in developing a major technical innovation that will help the police service dramatically save time and money in analysing crime scene evidence.
“One of the most important aspects of any crime scene investigation is to determine whether human DNA is present in forensic evidence collected at crime scenes so that it can then be searched against the National DNA Database if needed. This can provide a crucial lead in a crime investigation.

“The challenge for would-be suppliers will be to produce easy-to-use, portable technology that can produce results in less than an hour.”

Companies which are interested in attending the meeting on December 15 or which would like more information about the project should contact the NPIA project team at adapt@npia.pnn.police.uk or telephone 0203 113 7177.

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