During 2010 the NPIA Forensics21 team were gearing up for a project that would enable us to provide a level of forensic education to police employees, external security partners and the public. The name of this project was called “Citizen Focus” and it would provide a useful tool to support neighbourhood policing. An associated benefit to this work would be that the public would have a greater appreciation for the forensic work undertaken by the police and would allow us to manage public expectations that had grown due to the “CSI effect”.
Unfortunately, there was a change in the political landscape and other priorities made its way onto the Foresnics21 desk that meant that the Citizen Focus project had to be put to one side.
It was gone, but certainly not forgotten, as I realised that there was still a need to promote and educate people to the forensic expertise that are employed by their local police force and what they do to help in crime detection and reduction. Through my work with The Fingerprint Society I had a vehicle to achieve this, so I have proposed the holding of an International Fingerprint Week.
The dates for International Fingerprint Week would be April 16th-20th 2012, which is the week immediately after the holding of The Fingerprint Society Annual Conference that is being held in Swanwick, Derbyshire, allowing us to host an official launch.
This proposal has now been accepted at committee level and we are now in the process of finding organisations within the fingerprint profession, the wider Criminal Justice Systems, academia and relevant companies to support International Fingerprint Week. As with all of The Fingerprint Society ventures, this will be not-for-profit so rather than seeking funding we are looking for these people to organise events and make resources available to promote the event.
Further details can be found on a page within The Fingerprint Society website, although the hope is that a dedicated website will be created towards the end of 2011.