Builder Willmott Dixon has been selected by Thames Valley Police as its preferred contractor to construct its forensics centre in Bicester, UK.
This purpose-built facility, which will include labs and training facilities, and see the deployment of digital technologies, will serve as the force’s main forensics hub.
This centre is part of a larger improvement programme to modernise forensic services across the force area.
This Forensic Improvement Programme will inject major investment over the next three years to transform the forensic services of Thames Valley Police, which will, in turn, help boost investigations and outcomes for victims.
Construction of the forensics centre is expected to commence in the third quarter of this year and finish in late 2024 or 2025.
Atkins has been appointed as the multi-disciplinary design consultant for the project.
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The planning committee of Cherwell District Council recently approved the new forensic centre on a force-owned site near Avonbury Business Park on Howes Lane, subject to the finishing of a Section 106 agreement.
Thames Valley police forensic services head Kay Hannam said: “Forensic science can be the key to an investigation, in getting a case to court and delivering a timely outcome for the victim. This critical investment will support forensic services across the board, from adopting new technologies, developing our people and ensuring legitimacy in the criminal justice system.
“Underpinning this programme of growth is our proposed new purpose-built accommodation that will bring specialisms together under one roof. Here we will have the flexibility to expand our services to meet existing and future demand.
“This will be particularly important in areas such as digital forensics, where we are seeing significant increases in demand and complexity year on year. It is an ambitious programme, but it is an exciting time for Thames Valley’s forensic unit. Once complete, it will provide our officers, partner organisations and most importantly, our victims with market-leading, cost-effective and high-quality services.”
The latest appointment comes as Willmott Dixon was appointed a few days before by Milton Keynes City Council as its preferred bidder to deliver the Agora regeneration scheme in Wolverton.