Forensic partnership examines benefits for students and West Midlands Police
The University of Wolverhampton and West Midlands Police have signed a strategic Forensic Science partnership agreement, which will explore a wide range of opportunities and mutual benefits to improve the study and professional practice of Forensic Science for both students and West Midlands Police Forensic Services.
The University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering offers Undergraduate degrees in Forensic Science, Forensic Science with Policing and Forensic Science with Foundation Year in its School of Life Sciences.
Forensic science is the application of scientific analysis and investigation in the context of law and criminology. It can involve examining physical or digital forensic evidence for legal proceedings, which includes the preservation, recovery, analysis and interpretation of evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, fibres, mobile phones and ballistics.
The partnership agreement has been formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will offer opportunities for collaborative student research projects and students placements, as well professional practice training and guest lectures to ensure teaching utilises current professional practice policies and procedures, whilst offering West Midlands Police the chance to partner in collaborative joint research and knowledge exchange projects, as well as benefiting from a University CSI competency assessment service for West Midlands Police staff.
Professor Ebrahim Adia, Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “We are really pleased to have the second largest police force in the country partnering with our Forensic Science team of staff and students on this important collaborative opportunity with recognised benefits of enhancing the quality of the forensic science service provision to the Criminal Justice System (CJS) through innovative research, knowledge exchange and preparing future workforce resilience across the West Midlands area.
“The University is celebrating offering Forensic Science as a degree subject for 20 years this year and what better way for us than to now formalise our fruitful working partnership with West Midlands Police. Indeed, one of our Forensic Science graduates is now Head of Forensic Scene Investigations with West Midlands Police Forensic Services, showing that our students’ employability path leads them to meaningful careers in related industry.”
Richard Bishop, Head of Forensic Investigations – Traditional at West Midlands Police, said: “As Head of Forensic Investigations - Traditional, I am thrilled to announce the formalisation of our collaborative partnership with the University of Wolverhampton through the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding.
“This strategic alliance between West Midlands Police's Forensic Services Department and the University's Forensic Team marks a significant milestone in our commitment to enhancing the quality of forensic science service provision to the Criminal Justice System. "Through innovative research, knowledge exchange, and a focus on preparing the future workforce, this partnership exemplifies our dedication to meeting the highest standards as recommended by the Forensic Science Regulator (FSR) and the Forensic Capability Network (FCN).
“I also extend my heartfelt thanks to the hardworking and committed individuals from both West Midlands Police and the University of Wolverhampton who have played an instrumental role in making this collaboration a reality. Their dedication has been crucial in bringing us to this point, and I am confident that, together, we are poised to contribute to the advancement of forensic science, ensuring resilience and excellence across the West Midlands area. This achievement is a testament to the collective efforts of our outstanding teams."
Josh Pugh, in his third year of studying for a Forensic Science degree at the University and on a research project placement with West Midlands Police Fingerprint Development Lab, said: “I’m currently working with Recover LFT, a new piece of fingerprint development equipment that needs to be validated, so I’m helping test that process. This is hands down the best team I’ve ever worked with, they are really approachable. You get experience first-hand experience with a work placement like this. It’s beneficial to students and we are learning from each other”.
“The amount of knowledge the team have has blown me away and it’s really enhancing my learning and experience.”
West Midlands Police operations covers the three major centres of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, and also includes Sandwell, Walsall, Solihull and Dudley.
Anyone interested in studying Forensic Science courses in the School of Life Sciences should check out the website or book a place for one of our Open Days.
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