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NPIA seeks partners to develop new crime scene technology

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is seeking private sector partners to help develop revolutionary technology that will enable crime scene investigators to identify quickly whether forensic evidence contains human DNA.

The technology will enable forces to decide whether to send the sample to an approved forensic laboratory to produce a DNA profile that can be searched against the National DNA Database, potentially providing a crucial lead in a crime investigation.

It is predicted that this new initiative would help police forces in the UK save up to £3m a year on analysing crime scene samples. Currently, forces spend millions of pounds sending these samples to laboratories for screening, only to find out that no human DNA is present.

Simon Bramble, head of police science and forensics at the NPIA, said: “This represents a great opportunity for private sector expertise to be involved in developing a major technical innovation that will help the police service dramatically save time and money in analysing crime scene evidence.

“The challenge for would-be suppliers will be to produce easy-to-use, portable technology that can produce results in less than an hour.”

More details about the NPIA project will be unveiled at a supplier event on the 15 December at the agency’s CSI training centre at Harperley Hall in Durham. The NPIA is urging interested companies to attend the event.

The aim is to have the new technology operational in Spring 2012.

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