New Forensic Science Regulator announced (Aug 2014)

On July 17th 2014, the Minister of State for Crime Prevention (Norman Baker): announced the appointment of Dr Gillian Tully as the next Forensic Science Regulator.

Dr Tully took up her new role on 17th November 2014 (3-year term of appointment).

Dr Tully

An internationally respected forensic geneticist and former head of research and development within the defunct Forensic Science Service will become the next Forensic Science Regulator (FSR), it has been announced.

Dr Gillian Tully has replaced the first FSR, Professor Andrew Rennison, whose three-year term will come to an end on August 31. Dr Tully took up post on November 17 and Dr Simon Bramble, a senior official within the Home Office, acted as the interim Regulator.

Dr Tully, who spent 23 years working in the FSS, and four years as head of research and development, has been an influential figure in several key forensic genetic innovations, including the first multiplex PCR systems, mitochondrial DNA analysis and automation of DNA methods.

In addition, she led the work of the Forensic Science Special Interest Group on taking forensic science research and design to market.

Following the announcement she said: “I am looking forward to taking up this very challenging role and will endeavour to provide my full support to all those involved in forensic science as we aim to continually improve standards.”

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “Dr Gillian Tully has the experience and judgement necessary for this important role, dealing with those who deliver forensic service, the industry and government.

“I should like to record the government’s appreciation to Andrew Rennison for his contribution in successfully introducing the first set of quality standards in forensic science.”

It was announced last November that Prof Rennison would stand down from the role and take up a new position within the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The former scientific support manager at West Yorkshire Police can be credited for helping to create stability within a fragile forensic landscape following the demise of the FSS in 2010.

Dr Ann Priston, President of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science, said that Dr Tully has helped to drive forward forensic science standards.

She added: “We are looking forward to working closely with Gillian to ensure quality benchmarks are continually reviewed, improved and upheld.

“We have a longstanding commitment to integrity and impartiality within forensic science and operate our own rigorous code of conduct.

“The role of the FSR is vital in ensuring that high standards are upheld and we are delighted that someone with Gillian’s outstanding reputation and integrity has been selected for the position.”

Standards setting

In addition to setting standards, the role involves issuing codes of practice in relation to specific areas within the discipline and ensure all forces pursue accreditation in various areas of forensics. This includes work that laboratories are pursuing to attain two national standards to meet the European Standard IO17025.

The role also requires the monitoring of standards for the National DNA Database and the National Ballistics Intelligence System.

Despite being funded by the Home Office, the role of the FSR remains independent of government.

Date – 18th July 2014
ByJasmin McDermott – Police Oracle

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