Home Secretary sees first-hand the science supporting UK police

Dstl – the science inside UK defence and security showcased a selection of the vital work it is doing on behalf the Home Office

Home Secretary Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel looks at the latest research for police vehicles at Dstl's Head Quarters

The Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Priti Patel visited Dstl’s Head Quarters to see and hear first-hand how Dstl scientists are researching, developing and delivering innovations to protect not only the UK’s police forces, but also UK citizens.

Priti Patel was shown a range of new research currently underway, including female body armour designs, virtual training concepts, knife crime detection and corrosive substance detection to help prevent chemical attacks. The Home Secretary also heard how Dstl forensic scientists provided evidence that has helped with 152 terrorism convictions between 2016 and 2019.

Gary Aitkenhead, Dstl’s Chief Executive, said:

"It has been a great opportunity to show The Home Secretary the science that’s already saving lives of both those serving in our police forces as well as UK civilians. We have gained a real insight into the many challenges the Home Office and its policing and security are facing. The exciting part is that many of the programmes we are already working on as part of Defence can help address these challenges, particularly around improving current uniforms and protection for police officers."

Mike Smith, Gary Aitkenhead and Priti PatelDstl's Mike Smith CTS Lead, Dstl's Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead and Home Secretary Priti Patel

"Dstl is about the future and we are proud to share the incredible research currently being undertaken by our scientists. We have a long history of protecting our Armed Forces and I am proud that we are able to serve those outside of the Ministry of Defence."

The Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

"This Government is committed to giving police the resources they need and empowering them to use technologies to fight crime and keep the public safe. I am exceptionally impressed to see how Dstl is contributing to this priority through science and technology, which is directly benefiting crime reduction and providing better protection for our dedicated police officers.

"This research and development is absolutely crucial to keeping our country and citizens safe and it is exciting to see the work come to fruition."

The Government is committed to empowering the police to use new technologies like biometrics, to protect the public and link in how Dstl are contributing to that.

Home Office
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP