Collecting digital evidence, fingermarks and DNA is crucial to police investigations and that’s why Cleveland Police is celebrating the latest accreditation for their forensic work.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) recently visited and has awarded us accreditation against ISO/IEC 17025, the international standard for testing laboratories.
UKAS accreditation determines the technical competence and impartiality of forensic testing, examination and inspection services, improving confidence in the quality of evidence within the Criminal Justice System.
The accreditation process scrutinised dozens of aspects of our forensic laboratory work, including digital evidence, fingermarks and DNA recovery.
We were able to demonstrate we have robust internal audit processes and that those examining items follow a Forensic Code of Conduct.
Staff in the labs are tasked with forensic examinations in relation to a range of criminal investigations from drugs and fraud to sexual offences and murder.
Since June 2019 Cleveland’s Forensic laboratories have on average dealt with 160 case submissions a month and more than 1900 cases overall in the last 12 months.
Mandy Johns, Cleveland Police’s Head of Forensic Investigation, said: “We are pleased to have maintained accreditation for our Forensic Examination and Digital Forensics Laboratories”.
“Our work is victim-focussed as we’re fully aware the way we access material and prepare evidential items can have a significant impact on cases at court”.
“The award of this accreditation recognises we are meeting international standards of best practice and operating to the best of our ability. I’d like to thank the team for their hard work.”