Best in the world – UK Policing and Forensics


We may not see ‘Made in Britain’ stamped on many products any more but the UK is still often the envy of other nations, particularly when it comes to Policing methods and Forensics Science.

Back in 2009 when I worked for the Forensic Science Service I was asked to travel to Abu Dhabi to  help their Police Forensic Departments in developing their Toxicology and Fingerprint departments. The focus of our support was to get them ready for UKAS accreditation.

The initials UKAS should trigger some interest as they stand for United Kingdom Accreditation Services. Why would Abu Dhabi Police Forensic Departments want to be accredited by a UK association, to UK stands?

Simple, they recognised the UK as the best in Forensics Science and for that reason wanted to adopt our methodologies and be assessed and accredited to our standards. Now that is something the UK should rightly be proud of.

There are many more examples of countries recognising the UK expertise in both Policing and Forensics and the College of Policing has been able to capitalise on such opportunities recognising  that this type of funding streams can help them become less financial reliant on their funders the Home Office.

Whilst not only is it a source of pride that the UK are recognised as the best in the word for Policing and Forensics; that very fact could help us stay the best. By generating revenue from providing our expertise across the world the UK Police Forces and Forensic Sector can reinvest the money to ensure we remain world leaders.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have agreed a deal with Qatar to train officers in preparation for the country to host the 2020 world cup. This will not only bring huge benefits to Qatar and its people but also to those visiting the country at any time not just the world cup.

Importantly this will also bring around £300,000 into GMP, which ultimately means benefits for the  taxpayers within Greater Manchester, as the ‘austerity shrunken’ police budget is bolstered by additional revenue streams.

Its not all plain sailing as there is opposition to working with certain countries. Manchester MP Graham Stringer called for a review of GMP’s relationship with Qatar, calling the country “reprehensible”. These sort of comments stemming form the countries Human Rights reputation.

Sir Peter Fahy the former Chief Constable of GMP in an interview for responded to such comments with:

“Sadly, policing is not a very noble profession around the world. There’s always this dilemma of whether British policing and its particular model uses that to train others in terms of trying to get across our values and our way of doing things. The trouble is that if you have a particular stance which is that you are never going to work with a police force which does unethical things, then you almost wouldn’t work with any other police force in the world”

Whilst its not in the scope of this blog to comment fully on any political stance there is an interesting point to consider.

If we are passing on expertise in how we Police and our methods and techniques are of course closely linked to our values in human rights then adoption by others of our methods could be positively influencing action around human rights. Delivery of such training and knowledge transfer provides the opportunity to positively influence other countries towards ethical policing.

Moving back to my experiences of knowledge transfer and in particular my work with Abu Dhabi there is one other benefit to proving such support. Knowledge transfer goes both ways, I certainly brought back a number of learnings simply through looking at things with a completely different perspective.

Through working side by side with colleagues from around the world I was able to learn so much more about world cultures, religion, business and approaches to science and this type of two way knowledge transfer can only help the UK maintain its world leader position and bring benefits innumerable benefits to the population of the UK.

Evidential are proud to regularly work with international bodies both flying the flag for the UK and its leading position whilst looking for opportunities to bring benefits to the UK itself. We are also happy to use our knowledge, experience and networks to support others who are undertaking work with other countries.

So maybe the the ‘Made in Britain’ badge should now be ‘trained by Britain

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