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Coding footwear patterns launched
Apr '09
The National Footwear Reference Collection (NFRC) is launched this month and represents a successful collaborative project between the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and Bluestar Software.

Providing a new 'nationally agreed language' for coding footwear patterns, the NFRC is a national footwear reference library that uses a single common coding system for identifying different types and models of footwear and their associated footprint templates. The NFRC has been fully funded by the NPIA and will be available free to all police forces across England and Wales.

Design, prototype and development of the NFRC web-based application and collection was delivered for installation in early 2009 with pilots commencing in March in Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Norfolk constabularies. Pilots proved successful and practitioners confirmed the coding language worked effectively. The NFRC went live at the beginning of April in Avon and Somerset as well as the four pilot forces and already has over 8000 footwear pattern types.

Deployment of the NFRC is taking place in three stages and will complete by December 2009. This gradual roll-out enables the administration team to dedicate time to each force taking up the NFRC. NPIA is offering training places at its Harperley Hall forensic training centre.

From July 2009, the NPIA will be measuring the successes and intelligence value of the NFRC in order to encourage all police forces to use footwear as a key tool in the detection of crime.

Peter Goodman, ACC for Derbyshire Constabulary and Project Executive for the Forensics21 Footwear Project says: "The National Footwear Reference Collection represents a huge step forward in securing footwear as a forensic discipline which has the same status as fingerprints and DNA".

National Policing Improvement Agency

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