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Title                    The Forensic Submissions Policy
Version                  1
                         This policy sets out the actions to be taken by officers
                         and crime scene examiners who require a forensic
                         examination to prove or disprove that an offence has
                         been committed.
Branch / OCU             Specialist Crime Directorate – Forensic Services
Review date              July 2008
Title of Policy
The Forensic Submissions Policy


This is a revised policy, which outlines the actions to be taken by investigating officers or crime scene
examiners who require a forensic examination to prove or disprove a crime has been committed,
indicate a persons involvement or non-involvement in crime or to establish the identity of a person
through submission of crime scene stains. There is now a question-based approach required when
making forensic submissions. It is complemented by documents and Standing Operating Procedures,
which fully outline all relevant aspects required when submitting exhibits for forensic examination.
Borough Forensic Managers and Operational Managers for Territorial Policing and Crime Scene
Managers and Operational Managers for Specialist Crime are able to advise on this policy. There are
now contracts set with three forensic service providers each with a specific responsibility for either
certain crime type or evidence type (details to be found in the Business Rules and Protocol


This policy applies with immediate effect.

All police officers and police staff, including the extended police family and those working voluntarily
or under contract to the MPA must be aware of, and are required to comply with, all relevant MPS
policy and associated procedures.

However, this policy applies in particular to officers and staff in the following roles:

   •   ALL police officers
   •   ALL crime scene examiners.

There are other MPS staff members who need to be aware of this policy:

       •   Station Reception Officers
       •   Custody Officers
       •   Designated Detention Officers
       •   Criminal Justice Unit staff
       •   Despatch Service staff

Please note: This list is not intended to be exhaustive.


This policy provides guidance and accountability and establishes corporate standards for all forensic
submissions and associated subjects:

       •    Contamination
       •    Forensic drying cabinets
       •    Use of forensic freezers and refrigerators
       •    Use of Forensic Medical Examination Rooms
       •    Packaging of forensic exhibits
Please note: This list is not intended to be exhaustive.


A forensic submission is a most important part of any crime investigation, this policy should ensure
that clear advice and guidance is available to any person required to make a submission.

The policy addresses all general aspects required when making a submission to one of the three
main forensic service providers Forensic Science Service, Forensic Alliance Limited and LGC

Policy Statement

This policy places a requirement on all investigating officers for all forensic scientific examinations to
be fully considered prior to submission, to establish whether the physical evidence available would be
able to assist the investigating officer in the investigation of crime and to ensure correct use of the
available examination service. This service MUST NOT be used where there is already sufficient
evidence available for prosecution.

All submissions MUST be authorised by a police officer Inspector rank or above.

A forensic authorisation stamp and signature from either: TP Borough Forensic Manager, SCD Crime
Scene Manager and SO Crime Scene Manager is required for all forensic submissions with the
exception being:

      •    Cases from SO 12 and SO 13
      •    RTA Alcohol Analysis
      •    All traffic cases, including Collision Investigation Units
      •    Shoe and Toolmark indices submissions direct from Crime Scene Examiners
      •    Services covered by separate agreements
      •    Drugs cases where the offence is ‘POSSESSION ONLY’ and the exhibits are only
           required for identification. (if additional work is required e.g. purity, searching for DNA,
           fingerprinting or submission includes syringes, then this must be authorised by a member
           of the forensic team.) If a syringe is deemed suitable for submission the Laboratory
           Customer Service Desk MUST be informed prior to submission on Tel x 66282. This
           submission constitutes a Health and Safety Hazard.


The newly introduced Question Based Approach (QBA) provides a more positive strategy for
deciding on what level of exhibit submission is required. The QBA is separated into Investigative
(PRE CHARGE) Key Investigation Areas which covers submissions where there is the need to
identify or eliminate potential suspects from crime scene exhibits and Evidential (EV) (POST
CHARGE) where there is the requirement for evidence to secure a conviction when there is a
suspect charged with the offence.

Further benefits:

      •    Submissions will be professionally managed, with communications between forensic staff
           effectively maintained
      •    Scientists will only carry out examination work necessary to answer the relevant question
      •    There will be clarity as to which service provider examines which crime type
      •    There will be clarity as to which devolved budget is used for forensic examination
      •    There will be financial guidelines covering the forensic spend
      •    Management Information by BOCU or Crime OCU will be supplied to allow correct
           monitoring of the forensic spend
      •    Reference books and documents are available to assist investigating officers with
           evidence recovery
      •    Reference is available for ‘other’ forensic work practices e.g. forensic drying cabinets,
           freezers and refrigerators, forensic medical examination rooms, packaging etc.

Please note: This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

This policy will establish clear guidance and accountability for investigators. It will ensure that only
evidence with potential to assist an enquiry is submitted and that all documentation is correctly
completed prior to submission and all exhibits are correctly and safely packaged.


This policy is owned by the Crime Intelligence and Forensic Policy Forum, and is to be implemented
and reviewed by the SCD 4 Forensic Transition Group.

Associated documents and policies:

This policy replaces the following notices which are hereby cancelled:
Special Notice 17/01 of 26th October 2001,
Item 4 of Notice 13/01 of 28th March 2001,
Item 2 Notice 28/02 of 10th July 2002,
Item 1 of Notice 2/02 of 12th January 2000,
Item 4 of Notice 35/99 of 1st September 1999

                              STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES


To be found on the Forensic Intranet Web Site:
♦ Protocol Document Forensic Science Service
♦ Protocol Document Forensic Alliance Limited
♦ Protocol Document LGC Limited
♦ Service Level Agreement Forensic Science Service
♦ Service Level Agreement Forensic Alliance Limited
♦ Service Level Agreement LGC Limited
♦ Question Based Approach
♦ Forensic Submission forms
♦ Business Rules and Appendices
♦ Forensic spend guidelines
♦ Best practice in the handling of exhibits and the use of forensic drying cabinets freezers and
♦ Forensic Medical Examiner Room Operational Guidelines
♦ Front Officer Freezing of Crime Samples
♦ Submission of firearms for dual examination (scientific and fingerprints)
♦ SCD4 Fingerprint and Forensic Despatch Procedure
To be found on the Intranet Web Site - Manuals
♦ Scenes of Crime Handbook
♦ Homicide Manual
♦ Science Handbook (Using Forensic Science Effectively)
♦ ACPO Major Incident Room Standard Administrative Procedures (MIRSAP)
♦ ACPO Murder Investigation Manual
♦ DNA, A guide to DNA Profiling
♦ Offences – Investigative Technical Manual

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