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Forensic Services

The City of London Police's Forensic Services Department has been designed to meet the needs of the City of London Police but also the wider international opportunities. We are the first point of contact for knowledge and advice with regard to:

  • High Tech Crime Unit - Digital forensics
  • Fingerprint Bureau
  • Scenes of Crime
  • Coroner's Office
  • Academic Partnerships

Forensic services is committed to quality management and has a group of Quality Managers working closely to achieve ISO 17025/17020 accreditation for the Unit. Forensic Services already holds ISO accreditation for the Fingerprint Enhancement Laboratory and is working within the deadline set by the Forensic Science Regulator to achieve accreditation for the Fingerprint Bureau, Hi-Tech Crime Unit and Scenes of Crime.

High Tech Crime Unit - Digital forensics

 

​The High Tech Crime Unit consists of a team of specialist analysts and investigators trained in both the technical and legal aspects of computer crime investigation. This team is the first point of call for in-house processed or engagement with external laboratories and national organisations dealing with cyber crime. From hand-held devices to corporate servers the HTCU have the capability to recover and present evidence from a range of digital devices.

 

 

Fingerprint Bureau

The Fingerprint Bureau, consisting of Fingerprint Experts and the Fingerprint Enhancement Laboratory, have over 85 years’ of expertise between them and can be called upon for advice on any fingerprint related issue.


The Fingerprint Bureau examine and compare marks from crime scenes against known impressions (tenprints) taken when someone is  arrested, to determine whether they were made by the same person or not. The comparison process is subjective in nature and the declared outcomes are based on the knowledge, training and experience of the qualified fingerprint practitioner.

Comparisons involve the analysis, comparison and evaluation of ridge characteristics between the two impressions and can be undertaken either manually or electronically via the National Fingerprint Database, known as Ident1.


The Fingerprint Enhancement Laboratory use a range of recovery techniques using state of the art technology and are accredited to ISO 17025 international standards. The technicians are on hand to provide both in-house and crime scene fingerprint development and recovery.

 

Scenes of Crime

​The Scenes of Crime team consists of specialist scene examiners and crime scene managers to deal with the management and examination of all scenes. They recover and process all evidence types, ensuring the best possible and most meaningful evidence is obtained. Working closely with their academic and professional partners the team are aware of the most recent advances in forensic science technologies (DNA17, fluorescent powder suspension, fingerprint examinations amongst many others) and therefore are able to advise on the evidential value of exhibits and have a wide range of inhouse techniques at their disposal. They can also offer the best options for submissions to external Forensic providers.

The team utilises its wealth of experience to provide a more streamlined approach to the way our business supports investigative teams. We are also able to support a covert forensic capability. We are always looking to broaden our capabilities by developing new techniques as the science behind scene examination is constantly advancing.

Coroner's Officer

The Coroner’s officer works for the Coroner by acting as a liaison between the families of the deceased, doctors, pathologists, mortuaries, funeral directors and other outside agencies. The Coroner’s Officers are the first point of contact for any coronial issues relating to deaths within the jurisdiction of the City of London, including St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, the largest heart centre in the UK.

Academic Partnerships

​We have strong links with academia, the Forensic Science Unit at King's College London and the Jill Dando Institute at University College London are amongst Forensic Services' key academic partners; both institutions have high reputations in the field of forensic science. The Force's Director of Forensic Services, Tracy Alexander is a senior visiting lecturer at King's College and a visiting lecturer at the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science.

Research projects run each year, looking at technological advances and the prime utilisation of this research for the City of London Police.

Director of Forensic Services

​Tracy Alexander has worked in forensic science since 1992. Her original post with the Met Police Service Directorate of Forensic Services incorporated fingerprint expertise and crime scene skills after which she progressed to working on major homicide investigations. She was the head of the Forensic Intelligence Bureau where she worked on multiple projects including the National Ballistics Intelligence Service and DNA search tools for mass fatalities.

Tracy is a council member of BAFS (British Academy of Forensic Scientists), a trustee and advisory panel member of Inside Justice and has been a member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Scientists for over 20 years.

For Inside Justice, Tracy leads the forensic reinvestigation strategy in order to address alleged miscarriages of justice. This involves examining the fundamental principles behind some of the long-established and accepted forensic practices.

Tracy is passionate about ensuring forensic techniques are available to those engaged in wildlife crime.

Tracy’s plans for the future at the City of London Police and King’s College are to work on the public relationship of their already successful academic partnership, with the establishment of City Forensics at King’s in an endeavour to encourage students to apply themselves to addressing the problems of modern policing to the mutual benefit of both organisation. This will incorporate a multi-disc forensic approach incorporating traditional practices with cyber investigation techniques created for the modern era.



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