The Dorset Police are set to employ forensic officers from Devon & Cornwall and Avon & Somerset Police. The forensic staffs are to remain locally based but will be transferred to Dorset Police by October 2019. Crime scene investigation, digital forensics and identification services have benefited greatly from the collaboration between Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, and Wiltshire forces as teams from four of these forces have been working together since 2014 under the South West Forensics Collaboration.
According to Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, “The single host concept is not new, but moving over 300 staff into Dorset, who have been working together but still having slightly different approaches means that we can positively tackle the improvements we want to make to the service.” This move is also expected to make working practices more consistent, says Chief Officer for the South West Forensics Collaboration, ACC Damian Kearney.
PCC Sue Mountstevens of Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “The team is one of the most established collaborative services in the South West. It is more important than ever to work together.
“This joined up approach ensures the collaboration can deliver complex and sophisticated skills to achieve successful prosecutions of criminals, through the production of excellent scientific evidence.”
The Wiltshire Police has reaffirmed its position in the collaboration even though it will not be transferring officers to Dorset Police.