New forensic science institute to open this month at university of Leicester

Posted by hct16 at Nov 01, 2012 11:39 AM |
Centre aims to help police forces with some of the requests previously handled by the former Forensic Science Service

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 1 November 2012

PHOTOCALL:  5pm on Monday November 19 at University of Leicester Bennett Building

The University of Leicester’s new Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute is to be formally launched on 19 November, 2012 at 5pm.

The new Institute is a multi-disciplinary centre at the University of Leicester which aims to help police forces with some of the requests previously handled by the former Forensic Science Service (FSS).

The Institute aims to be a leader, innovator and agenda setter in the field of forensic science and is named after the world renowned University of Leicester scientist Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, of the University's Department of Genetics, who pioneered techniques for DNA profiling and fingerprinting which are now used globally by police forces.

Professor Jeffreys, who retired in September but is continuing his association with the University as an Emeritus Professor, will be attendance at the launch event. He said: "This is a very exciting new initiative, and I am so proud to have it named after me. The provision of forensic science in the UK has undergone major and potentially damaging changes in recent years, so this Institute has real potential to provide much-needed breadth and depth of expertise, especially in complex casework, as well as a voice for the proper funding of forensic science research in the UK".

The launch event is open to the public, and will commence at 5:00pm in the Bennett Building (Lecture Theatre 5) with an opening address by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess.  Other speakers include Professor Bernard Silverman (Home Office Chief Scientific Advisor), Andrew Rennison (Forensic Science Regulator) and Simon Cole (Chief Constable, Leicestershire Police).  A wine reception (sponsored by Key Forensics) will follow the talks.

The Institute has been developed by Dr John Bond, a senior lecturer in Forensic Sciences in the Department of Chemistry who was awarded an OBE last year for his services to forensic science, and Dr Lisa Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Criminology. Dr Bond’s work on Visualizing Fingerprint Corrosion of Metal was voted one of the top 50 inventions of 2008 by Time Magazine and one of the inventions most likely to change the world in 2009 by BBC Focus Magazine

Dr Bond said: "The time is now right for forensic science research in the UK to be put on a sounder footing, with proper funding streams provided by the UK research councils so that institutions such as the University of Leicester can undertake meaningful and productive research to enhance the use of forensic science to detect crime both in the UK and overseas.

"We aim to provide a forum whereby problems in policing can be aired and ways found to overcome them.  We will do this by involving local and national agencies in the running of the Institute and by focussing on problem areas identified to us by the police service."

Dr Smith said: "This new Institute is unique in its multidisciplinary approach to forensic science and criminal justice services.  By bringing together the various disciplines at the University (who traditionally work separately from one another), we will be able to provide the Criminal Justice System with a wider range of expert consultancy, research and innovation, teaching and continuing professional development."

• If you are interested in attending the launch event, please email forensicscience@le.ac.uk to register your interest.

ENDS


NOTE TO NEWSDESK:  FOR INTERVIEWS CONTACT:

Dr John Bond at jwb13@le.ac.uk or on 0116 252 2090.

Dr Lisa Smith at ls149@leicester.ac.uk or on 0116 252 5708.

More information can be found at: www.le.ac.uk/forensic-science

 


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