Three Forces Collaborate on Forensic Services


Posted on 19th June 2012

From crime scene to early arrest: a new approach to forensics in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire police forces will see offenders identified in a matter of hours. Working collaboratively with innovative approaches to technology, the new East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Forensic Services (EMSOU-FS) has vastly reduced the previous process times from days to just hours, for the first time enabling forces to work with real time forensics.

James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Crime and Security will open the state of the art Identification Bureau, based at Nottinghamshire Police HQ, on Tuesday 19 June 2012

From April 2012, the three forces began collaborating on analysis, identification and crime scene investigation. This work will not only provide real time forensics, but will save the three forces in excess of £9.5 million over a four year period.  Leicestershire and Northamptonshire are also working together, with a view to becoming an overall five-force collaboration at a later date.

Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who holds the crime portfolio for the region, says:

“This is a pioneering area of work which is already beginning to show its value. In addition to saving money, it provides us with greater efficiency and resilience. New and innovative approaches to technology have been implemented which will speed up processes, allowing the forces to bring offenders to justice more quickly preventing them from committing other crimes.”

An example of the benefits can be seen in the very first job the unit received as a collaborative service which was hugely complex and involved the discovery of body parts in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Crime Scene Investigators worked closely with the Forensic Case Management Unit to co-ordinate the recovery of the body parts and subsequent identification utilising specialists and DNA testing. The new structures allowed much closer working and liaison across the two forces to bring the case to an early conclusion.

Minister for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire MP says:

“This bureau is an excellent example of what can be achieved when police forces work together to deliver improved services at reduced costs. It will save millions of pounds, with a faster and more efficient service to support the investigation of crime and the conviction of criminals for the people of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.”

The development of EMSOU-FS not only brought together talent from across the region, it has also capitalised on national learning from the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) Forensics21 programme*.

Nick Gargan, Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the NPIA adds:

"In 2010 the East Midlands Region approached NPIA for help in their goal to collaborate around forensic services. Forensics21 worked with colleagues in the region to create an outline business case. I am delighted that the recommendations were of value to the region and am equally delighted that their implementation has delivered significant improvements in the use of forensic science."

The project, which led to the creation of EMSOU-FS, was managed by the East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme, which oversees a number of projects that are planned to save the five forces £72 million pounds over the next four years. The projects aim to provide better value for money, increase capacity and capability, and create greater efficiency and resilience whilst protecting frontline services.

Working together collaboratively negates the need to move to force amalgamations and all forces will continue to deliver policing for local communities.


Notes to Editors:
  • You are invited to the opening of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit- Forensic Services (EMSOU-FS) at 12pm on Tuesday 19 June 2012 at Nottinghamshire Police HQ ( at Nottinghamshire Police HQ (Sherwood Lodge Drive, Arnold Nottingham, NG5 8PP). Parking is available at Burntstump Country Park, which is directly next to Nottinghamshire Police HQ. P

  • Presentations will take place at 12pm. There will be filming and interview opportunities at 1pm with a number of stakeholders, including James Brokenshire MP, Minster for Crime and Security; Derbyshire CC Mick Creedon, regional lead on crime; Nottinghamshire CC Chris Eyre as EMSOU-FS project lead and Joanne Ashworth, Regional Director of Forensics Services.

  • To arrange, please contact Nicola Lyon, Communications Manager, East Midlands Police Collaboration Programme: / 0115 9670999 ext 8003050. 

  • The Forensics21 programme aims to provide an agile and flexible response to the changing demands of the police service through the delivery of effective business change. More details can be found on the NPIA website:

Further information about EMSOU-FS

The Forensic Analytical Services, based at Derbyshire Police HQ, consists of three areas: a laboratory facility which incorporates a number of specialist capabilities including fingerprint enhancement, imaging and footwear intelligence; a section with deals with case files and submissions, as well as one which oversees quality, performance and training.

The Identification Bureau focuses on matching suspects from their fingerprints to crime scenes and offences and is based at Nottinghamshire Police HQ.

Crime Scene Investigators are deployed within their own force areas but the policies and processes they follow are being aligned across the three forces.