Scientific Support Unit
Our Scientific Support Unit (SSU) uses cutting
edge technology to recover and examine forensic evidence collected
at the scene of a crime, fatality or incident to help piece
together what happened.
The SSU examines
all forensic evidence for the whole of the UK. The
work is challenging but very rewarding and the unit is committed to
providing the highest standards.
Crime Scene Examiners
Our Crime Scene Examiners
(CSEs) attend crime scenes and recover forensic evidence
such as fingerprints, DNA and footwear impressions. They also take
photographs at crime scenes.
Crime Scene Co-ordinators oversee complex
crime scenes while Crime Scene Managers are responsible for
specific crime scenes and investigations. CSEs attend all crime
scenes when required, assist in property recovery and deploy to
Once it has been collected, evidence is taken
to our Central Submissions unit. Central
submissions have a broad understanding of all forensics —
they look at every case and decide which forensic process
should be applied, either externally or internally.
Examination in the lab
Our laboratories screen evidence for
biological fluids (eg. blood, saliva etc) and use various chemicals
to enhance fingerprints on items recovered from crime
Lab staff process
all evidence from incidents across the rail
network of England, Wales and Scotland, including the DLR
and London Underground. They work mainly in the
laboratory, but occasionally go out to scenes to process items that
cannot be moved.
Taking fingerprints and DNA
When a suspect is brought into custody, their DNA and
fingerprints are taken by officers and sent to our
Forensic Custody unit, who replicate all forensic
samples that have been collected.
All fingerprints collected at the scene of a
crime or incident are passed to our
Fingerprint Bureau. The bureau compares
fingerprints found at crime scenes with those held on record to
The specialist photographers in
our Photography unit take images of
evidence to be used in investigations or court cases.
The Hi-tech Crime
unit examines digital evidence found
on computers, mobile phones, SIM cards, memory devices,
sat-navs, digital cameras and gaming consoles. Hi-tech
crime investigators are highly trained and provide a service
to the whole Force (England, Wales and Scotland).
These devices can be scanned for photographs,
documents and other data, without affecting the data that is stored
on the device. This evidence can then be stored so that
it can be used in court.
Hi-tech crime investigators also provide
technical advice and support to officers encountering such media
photos of our SSU at our Flickr page.