Dr John Wheeler, Associate Dean in the School of Law, Policing and Forensics, leads the team and has cross-University responsibility for overseeing developments with police forces. Many members of University staff have been closely involved in implementing experiential learning collaborations that have provided great opportunities for our students and have supported the core team.
Dr Rachel Bolton-King is a ballistics specialist and has been instrumental in forging groundbreaking links with NABIS in the UK and police forces in the USA.
Dr Sarah Fieldhouse is a nationally recognised fingerprint expert and has led on the initiation and development of the team’s extracurricular summer placements on which much of their subsequent success is based.
David Flatman-Fairs leads the implementation of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership and, together with a counterpart from Staffordshire Police, oversees the direction and progress of each of the workstreams.
Dr Claire Gwinnett brings to the team expertise in trace evidence and method validation, and has been instrumental is working with police forces and students in the validation of ISO17020 methods.
Juliet Prince has led in the expansion of our initial collaborations through forensic science to relationships in other areas of police work, such as in Justice Services, the first time this has been possible.
Dr Laura Walton-Williams is an expert in DNA profiling and sexual assault investigation, and enthusiastically leads both research projects and placements in these fields.
Impact of work
The work of the team has had an enormous impact on the development of innovative and inclusive opportunities for students to gain real-world work experience and undertake research projects that have a direct impact upon police policy and process, ultimately benefiting their communities. Many activities have been firsts in the UK and have set new standards for collaborative working.
Plans for the future
Looking to the future, the team intends to expand the scope of work further by increasing the range and number of opportunities available, they will establish a regional/national Knowledge Exchange Group for sharing best practice in experiential learning with police forces, and will widely disseminate our achievements at conferences, seminars and through publications. In addition, they will undertake a full evaluation of what they have achieved to date and use this to inform future developments.