An interview with Mr Adam Long
What work will you be carrying out for the Institute?
"As a former forensic science practitioner, I will be supporting the Institute in the areas of forensic science, crime scene investigation and interpretation of evidence, within the context of the wider criminal justice system."
What is your professional background and experience?
“Prior to joining the University of Derby, I spent over 13 years in the Forensic Science Service. I began my career in research and development, developing new methods for identifying humans from their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
"In later years I moved into operational forensic science, undertaking forensic casework and specialising in the detection, enhancement and recovery of fingermarks as well as other evidential material. As part of my operational demands, I completed an 18-month attachment with West Midlands Police Fingerprint Bureau as a fingerprint comparison officer.”
“I joined the University in 2010, and am a senior lecturer in forensic science and the Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science.”
What have been your key successes or achievements in the field of forensics?
“During my career as a research forensic scientist, I contributed to the development of novel DNA testing methods for forensic applications, which resulted in a number of patents. These methodologies have since been developed further by others resulting in more sensitive DNA techniques for identifying individuals.
“Within my career as an academic, I have helped to maintain and strengthen the profiles of our undergraduate forensic science programmes here at the University. I am the University's lead contact for the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and have liaised closely with them to ensure our programmes have maintained their accreditation status.
"Additionally, I am an external assessor for the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences ‘Pre-employment Assessment of Competence (PEAC)’ award; I also contributed to this award's design and implementation. The award is designed to demonstrate to future employers and forensic service providers, that graduates in forensic science possess the necessary skills and competence required to do the job.”
What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing police forensics today?
“The continuing austerity within the UK's police and wider criminal justice system will continue to impact on the nature and provision of forensic science and crime scene investigation in both the near and longer-term future.
"Many of the challenges – for example, working in a more cost effective environment, developing better and more efficient working practices, whilst at the same time maintaining and improving the quality standards, reliability and robustness – will be fundamental in ensuring forensic science remains an integral part of the policing and the criminal justice system."
How do you think the Institute and its partners can benefit from working together?
“Collaboration is the key to success in many different disciplines and this is extremely important for the Institute and for its partners moving forwards.
"Collaboration will result in a sharing of ideas to help identify and agree a common consensus on the right approach to take. This should provide mutual benefits to all concerned parties and will hopefully ensure that the Institute and its partners can continue to be at the forefront of developing and implementing new policies and ideas.”