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Police in county get new ‘Silent Witness’ forensic technology — Gloucestershire News Service

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Gloucestershire Constabulary’s forensics team has become the first in the South West to own a ground-breaking piece of technology that has featured on the TV crime drama Silent Witness.

The new Crime-lite® AUTO device will secure better evidence from crime scenes in the county.

Described as a ‘forensic imaging technology, combined with powerful multi-spectral illumination’, the device means that local forensics teams now need just one portable unit to search, detect and capture evidence on site.

Previously, teams would need to use multiple light sources and cameras to complete the job, with some evidence types undetectable without access to the new technology.

Costing around £22,000, the kit was made available to the Force following a bid by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire to the Home Office Safer Streets fund and was secured with the intention of helping to tackle violence against women and girls in the county – one of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s six policing priorities.

Chris Allen, Head of Forensic Services at Gloucestershire Constabulary, said “In a modern, complex crime scene having access to the latest and best technology not only saves processing time but produces better results and increases the ability to bring offenders to justice.  

“This new equipment is at the leading edge of enhanced search systems available to the police and will undoubtedly be put to great use by Gloucestershire’s forensic investigators.”

The high-tech kit is made by Evesham-based Company Foster and Freeman and has been featured on the BBC programme Silent Witness for its ability to reveal evidence and bodily fluids; detect blood on dark fabrics; locate fingerprints, gunshot residue and traces of physical evidence; and take high-quality images of the evidence on site.

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson said: “Part of my role is to ensure the Constabulary has the resources it needs to work effectively.

“New technology has often been off-limits due to its price, but our successful bid to the Home Office Safer Streets fund has meant that this state-of-the-art equipment will benefit investigating teams in Gloucestershire for years to come. In particular, it will make it easier to collect evidence at rape scenes, helping to bring offenders to justice.”

A video of the crime-lite in action is available can be seen here:

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