Preston’s university and the city’s police force has entered into a partnership to improve forensic science services across Lancashire.Advertisement
An Academy is to be created at Lancashire Constabulary headquarters at Hutton on the outskirts of Preston.
Forensic experts and students are to work side-by-side in the new facility, which will include state-of-the-art research laboratories, equipment and training suites alongside crime scene houses, accommodation and conferencing.
An official agreement between the University of Central Lancashire and Lancashire Police was signed on Thursday (6 April).
The labs are due to be up and running by September this year.
Millions of pounds is due to be spent by the university on the new facilities.
Deputy chief constable Andy Rhodes said: “This is a ground-breaking initiative for Lancashire Constabulary and something we are really excited about.
“During a time when police forces are looking at ways to collaborate with other forces and regionalise forensic science services, we have opted to keep a clear focus on how we can improve our delivery here in Lancashire and joining up with UCLan provides us with some fantastic opportunities.”
Innovation leader for Lancashire Constabulary Rob Flanagan said: “This is a new way of delivering savings within Lancashire Constabulary, while maintaining our same high standards of forensic service with the greatest skills and expertise we have to offer.
“Innovation allows us to focus on continuous improvement across all areas of the organisation and where we feel it is right, attract our strongest partners to work closer with us to protect people and deliver value for money services.
“The University has worked with us for many years in our research and evaluation. This new relationship brings us closer together during a time when policing and academia are driving up professional standards.”
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UCLan vice-chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said: “The University already has a long and established relationship with Lancashire Constabulary and this collaboration will make it even stronger as we work together to help the county take a lead role in the scientific investigation of crime.
“The partnership provides unparalleled opportunities for students to work in an operational policing environment and will help to inform the future of our teaching curriculum in the areas of forensic science and policing. In return, we will use our role as a University to support our community and the academy with new equipment and research that informs how Lancashire Constabulary tackles crime and protects vulnerable people.”
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