Introduction to DNA Principal Forensics

Company name: DNA Principal Forensics Ltd

Mission statement: To provide an independent and high quality source of forensic expertise in all aspects of DNA analysis and the interpretation of scientific evidence.

A full range of forensic DNA expertise is available from DNA Principal Forensics

Information about company & who I am: 

Dr Sue Pope

Independent Consultant in DNA Principal Forensics, offering a range of specialist forensic DNA interpretation services. Also a partner in Principal Forensic Services.

Internationally acknowledged expert in the interpretation of DNA profiles, previously a Principal Scientist for the Forensic Science Service specialising in the introduction of new DNA analysis, interpretation and evaluation techniques; researcher, court reporting scientist, teacher and mentor at FSS.

Committed to improving the quality of the production, interpretation, delivery and understanding of forensic evidence at all stages & by all participants in the Criminal Justice System.

Consultancy advice can be provided for either individual cases or on a longer term contract basis.

Provides specialist expertise in the interpretation and evaluation of DNA casework results for both prosecution and defence, with professional advice and expert witness testimony. Case reports & materials can be evaluated and advice provided on the significance of DNA findings taking into consideration the specific case circumstances, with recommendations for further DNA analysis options.

Advice and reviews on current cases and historic undetected cold cases – ranging from suggesting new approaches to obtaining DNA results for intelligence use to a full review of all the scientific evidence types to combine them, based on the logical interpretation principles of Case Assessment and Interpretation and using probabilistic networks.

Standard and bespoke training courses and awareness sessions can be provided to individuals or groups of forensic scientists, legal professionals, managers and academic institutions in a range of specialist areas. These include the interpretation and evaluation of DNA profiles, simple and complex mixtures and low template results as well as the interpretation of evidence using Case Assessment and Interpretation and expert witness training. Marked competency assessments, recovery programmes and post-course support can be included with training packages.

Quality failure investigations in laboratory and opinion-based work can be supplied, with suggestions for recovery procedures and improvements to processes. This can include a review of the effects that the incident may have had on previous samples, with advice on the risks associated with these.

Reviews for laboratories and processes with suggestions to streamline and improve reproducibility and quality of techniques; Quality manual writing; DNA anti-contamination procedures for all stages of the forensic process; Audits and advice on risk assessment, strategy and scheduling to obtain maximum benefits from the audit process.

My background:

I was a senior researcher and forensic scientist at the Forensic Science Service for 25 years, providing specialist DNA casework interpretation and calculations. As a leading trainer for the FSS, I produced and delivered courses, coaching and mentoring for national and international forensic scientists, lawyers and judges. This training included courses on DNA statistics and interpretation, DNA mixtures, Low Template DNA results, Case Assessment and Interpretation and Expert Witness Training. You can find out more at my profile and my publications page.


January 2018

Interesting meeting in Utrecht on 26th where NRGD are discussing standards for reporting DNA at activity level – considering issues of transfer & persistence of DNA & how it was deposited on an item of interest

Delivering 10 week Case Assessment & Interpretation module to MSc students at UCL & met them on 18th for first workshop – great group

December 2017

Final visit to the Forensic Science Centre in Zagreb on Disaster Victim Identification project – DVI exercise went from mock coach crash with rescue through to Reconciliation Board. A great year, made good friends and learnt about how DNA fits into the wider DVI response

October 2017

Glad to have been able to contribute to the ICCA-RSS guide: Statistics and probability for advocates: Understanding the use of statistical evidence in courts and tribunals

Sixth visit to the Forensic Science Centre in Zagreb on Disaster Victim Identification project to run workshop on DVI DNA protocols