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The official go-live date for FCN was 1st April 2020. The full FCN core team is now in place and is starting to provide services in Quality, Science and Commercial that are not directly dependent on technical development.

Other elements of FCN’s product and service offering are being implemented incrementally, as new technical capabilities are developed.

FCN will also evolve as it responds to new challenges and opportunities and is shaped by its members. It will support more and more capabilities as they are delivered either by the Transforming Forensics programme or by members of the FCN community themselves.

We will also be adopting an incremental approach to bringing FCN members on-board: initially for connection to the FCN ICT platform itself and then for each new capability released.

This will ensure that we allow sufficient time to help prepare FCN members for adoption and have appropriate resources available to support local testing.


Work under way now

Supported by the Police Transformation Fund grant as part of the Transforming Forensics programme, we have already started building FCN capacity and capability.

Some of the FCN’s products and services are already bearing fruit. Examples include:


the emerging FCN Science team, which is providing support to the NPCC Science and Innovation Board and is working closely with the Transforming Forensics DNA and Digital Forensics projects to create future capability roadmaps and trial new processes and technologies;


the FCN Commercial team, which has recently helped achieve national agreement on contract uplifts as a means of stabilising the traditional forensic science marketplace; continues to provide invaluable support to various Gold and Silver groups e.g. Randox retesting; and is currently supporting the development of a long-term market strategy for both traditional and digital forensic science;


the FCN Quality team, which is supporting the NPCC Performance and Standards Group and, through the creation of trouble-shooting teams, has been helping forces achieve their accreditation for fingerprint processes; is focusing upon the crime scene investigation accreditation challenge; and is also working with the FSR and UKAS in developing an assessment approach;


the FCN Operations team, which is working with the  fingerprint community to develop a new operating model for fingerprint identification, which not only maximises the potential benefits being enabled by the Home Office Biometrics (HOB) Programme but is also able to influence HOB’s future direction. For example, Operations has recently procured changes to HOB by way of a tenprint export tool.