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Future of forensics debated in North East

Date 16 Aug 2007
Author The Editor

Some of the UK’s top police officers and experts in forensic science will be descending on the North East next week (26/27 June) to attend a major conference looking at the future of Forensic Science. ‘Shaping the Future of Forensic Science’ is being hosted by Northumbria University in Newcastle and it will focus on an area which is becoming more and more important to modern policing.

Professor Julie Mennell, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences at Northumbria said: “Forensic Science is becoming an increasingly powerful tool in the fight against crime and technology developments now mean the police have access to equipment such as ‘Lantern’. This hand-held, mobile fingerprinting unit, enables fingerprints to be captured electronically, away from the police station – allowing the police to identify and arrest suspects much more quickly. “At the same time the use of DNA is increasing and developments in DNA technology, together with changes in legislation, have resulted in around 3.8 million individuals now being included on the UK’s National DNA Database, which is the largest in the world.”

The organisers believe that recent developments raise important issues to be discussed and debated, not only from the perspective of the general public – to ensure their rights to privacy are maintained – but also for the users and providers of forensic science, to ensure it is used to its best effect in the fight against crime.

Delegates at the conference will be introduced to the possible future shape and direction of forensic science and its relationship to the wider application of science to crime detection and reduction. They will also gain an insight into the strategic framework for its future development and the important associated issues and challenges which may result.

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