Forensics in the media: Representations and ‘realities’
This chapter explores the conditions through which forensic innovations emerge. Forensic science borrows from a highly variegated knowledge base. Hence innovations derive from multiple channels. Such innovations may reflect a variety of stakeholder interests, including those of policy-makers, funders, law enforcement officials, academic researchers and forensic practitioners. It examines the notion that innovation involves a simple translation of 'pure' science into technology by outlining some significant innovation pathways in the UK. These include relations between academic researchers and forensic practitioners, and the role of central policing and government authority in the form of Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Home Office. An increasingly commercial agenda is also impacting upon forensic research and development (R&D). The chapter uses the example of digital forensics to illustrate how variegated interests challenge innovation in forensic science and technology. The ACPO innovation agenda appeared to be predominantly police-led rather than science-led, with technology used to enhance policing functions.