Staffs Uni and Police celebrate three years of forensic partnership

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An event has been held to celebrate three years of a forensics partnership between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire Police. This has included talks with former students and with Staffordshire Police’s Head of Forensics, John Beckwith.

Forty Students have worked with the partnership since it launched in 2016.

The programme has included attending crime scenes and has seen the introduction of 360 degree-filming to capture evidence. It’s also allowed investigators to return to a crime scene in a virtual reality form.

Since the initiative started, students have gone on to work with Staffordshire Police, West Midlands Police, Greater Manchester Police and Liverpool John Moore’s University. This has included a variety of roles such as forensic investigator, forensic presentation officer, and digital forensic analyst and examiner.

Former student Kurstie Burgess, 24, has seen her career flourish thanks to the support of the partnership. She graduated in 2016 with a Forensic Science Degree and said that: “I was part of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership looking into the investigation of fooling biometric scanners on mobile phone devices.

“Through the support of the force’s Digital Forensics department I gained a deeper understanding of gaps in the market and how investigation and research could provide possible solutions, leading me to undertaking my project. This understanding and the requirement for forensics to move forward as technology does allowed me to secure the position I have. I now work in a department that is constantly shaped through innovation, research and new technology.” She now works as a Forensic Presentation Officer for West Midlands Police.

Staffordshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating three years of creative thinking, sharing ideas and developing best practice with our partners at Staffordshire University

“The students have brought a fresh approach and some great ideas about how we can gather digital evidence from apps and digital devices to help us build criminal cases.”

Staffordshire Police Head of Forensics, John Beckwith, said: “We’ve benefited greatly from the programme and I know our staff have enjoyed helping them put theory into practice.”

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