Cranfield University has opened a new specialist Crime Scene House facility at its Bedfordshire campus, on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Cranfield Forensic Institute. At a special event on Friday 8 September, over 50 alumni, industry partners and forensic professionals came to the campus to celebrate and have an exclusive tour of the new facility.

From the outside the new Crime Scene House looks like an ordinary family home on a quiet estate. However, inside a series of crime scenes set up in different rooms – from blood splatters and fingerprints to damaged property and forensic evidence.

The facility is designed to replicate crime scenes and will serve as a controlled setting for practising and enhancing investigation, evidence collection, and forensic analysis skills. Students, industry partners, researchers, police forces and industry professionals are all expected to use the new specialist facility.

Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, sponsored the Crime Scene House to support skills development in the public safety and forensics industry. Marcus Rowe, Business Director Public Safety & Forensics, Leica Geosystems UK and Benelux said: “We see the forensics community not just as customers but as a dedicated expert group working to the highest standards in the most challenging circumstances. We’re proud to be part of this significant moment in the field of forensic academia, and are committed to fostering a strong partnership with Cranfield Forensic Institute and the extended community.”

25 years of forensic expertise

Cranfield University has a strong heritage in postgraduate education, industry collaboration and research in forensics. Cranfield Forensic Institute was established in 1998, with the launch of the MSc in Forensic Engineering and Science. Since then, it has grown into the foremost academic authority in disciplines including digital forensics, explosives, forensic archaeology, forensic investigation, forensic biology engineering failures, forensic ballistics and materials science.

In 2021 the University opened a £7.2 million centre of excellence with the latest forensic equipment, a mortuary, expert academic staff and innovative courses in the fields of crime scene investigation, digital forensics investigation and forensic materials analysis. The new Crime Scene House adds to CFI’s suite of world-class resources and expertise for its students and research staff in a range of specialities.

Developing the next generation of forensic scientists

Dr Hannah Moore, Director of the MSc Forensic Programme at Cranfield University welcomed the new development: “As a University we are advancing the field of forensics and developing the next generations of forensic scientists. The Crime Scene House is a fantastic new facility for our students, research staff and partners.

“Providing realistic scenario-based training is vital for those who aspire to advance their careers in CSI and forensic fields – and this new facility complements our suite of world-class teaching resources - giving students a superb grounding in many aspects of this field.”