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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220840 
Title: Application of Forensic Science to Criminal Investigation (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 381-405, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds. -- See NCJ-220829)
Author(s): Jim Fraser
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This chapter explores how knowledge of the criminal investigative use of forensic science expands and is acquired, and it critically reviews the main influential and historic events in forensic science and police investigation in recent decades in Great Britain.
Abstract: Published audits from a number of sources consistently show a poor knowledge of forensic science in the British police service. There are few practicing scientists within the police service, despite the growing importance of science to policing. Although there is ample evidence of major gaps in police knowledge about the use of forensic science in police investigative work that can only be remedied by extensive training and education, there is no evidence that these knowledge gaps are being addressed by national police training organizations. The primary sources of forensic science to the police in England and Wales from the 1930s onward were the laboratories of the Home Office Forensic Science Service and the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory in London. By the 1960s, there were nine laboratories in England and Wales, and forensic science continued to expand steadily on the basis of increased police use and technological developments that improved the investigative potential of forensic sciences. The increasingly commercialized relationship between law enforcement agencies and forensic science laboratories, however, has resulted in a unique environment in England and Wales. The privatization of forensic science remains controversial, and it will take some time before sufficient evidence becomes available to evaluate the benefits and risks it may bring. Until recently there was limited direct connection between higher education and police investigative knowledge of forensic science. The majority of forensic scientists in England and Wales were recruited into scientific organizations as graduates, and the comparatively small number of graduates recruited into scientific support or the police had no specialist training in forensic science. 29 references
Main Term(s): Criminal investigation training
Index Term(s): Foreign police; Forensic science training; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques
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