It’s named after the pioneering inventor of DNA finerprinting, but Yorkshire’s new policing base could just as easily be described as CSI Wakefield.
Built at a cost of £21 million next to a nature reserve just off Junction 39 of the M1 in West Yorkshire, it boasts state-of-the-art forensic technology to ensure DNA samples and fingerprints from crime scenes can help bring offenders to justice.
Since opening last April it has provided scientific support for West Yorkshire Police, but now a collaboration between the four police forces of Yorkshire and the Humber means it will deal with the recovery and analysis of crime scene materials from the entire region.
Bosses say the move, which has seen dozens of extra forensic staff move from their own forces to Wakefield, will “deliver a first class forensic investigation service” while cutting millions from policing budgets.
The new arrangements mean that the Sir Alec Jeffreys Building, named after the founding father of DNA profiling, is now the second biggest forensic investigation unit outside London.
Techniques used at the base, including facilities for analysing hand-writing and identifying footwear as well as state-of-the-art methods of extracting DNA from evidence, are comparable to US television drama Crime Scene Investigation.
A statement by Police and Crime Commissioners from Yorkshire and the Humber said: “The development of this state-of-the-art facility provides each of the four forces across the region with a centre of excellence for crime scene investigation.
“The collaborative approach of bringing specialist expertise together under one roof is the smart way forward in these tough economic times and ensures this region will be in the best position to keep our communities safer through the detection of crime.”