1. ITV Report

Scientific crime-fighter gets OBE

Richard Johnson has been given the OBE for a lifetime of achievement in scientific services to fight crime. Photo: Bedfordshire Police

Richard Johnson, Head of Scientific Services for the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire police forces has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Richard,54, lives in Leighton Buzzard with his wife Sandra, who also works for the police. His award is for a lifetime of achievement in pioneering the delivery of scientific services to fight crime and protect the public.

He first joined the Metropolitan Police as a fingerprint officer in 1972, working on the early fingerprint applications for the new Police National Computer. He transferred to Bedfordshire in 1978 and worked on numerous serious cases and then led the implementation of the first semi-automatic fingerprint searching system in the early 90s. He then went to Dyfed Powys Police as Head of the Fingerprint Bureau and eventually returned to Bedfordshire in 1995 to lead for the force in the National Automatic Fingerprint Recognition Project.

Mr Johnson also worked in Tacoma in the USA to implement the British-staffed round-the-clock national fingerprint search facility. He’s also helped out in investigations in the Caribbean.

He has overseen the introduction of the world’s first mobile crime scene fingerprint searching capability; the instant fingerprint search facility in custody suites, and 3D image body mapping to display victim’s injuries to courts without the need for distressing photos. He now heads the tri-force Scientific Services department which has brought Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire together under one forensic roof, the first of its kind in the country.

"I feel the honour is as much for forensic services and the teams which contribute to it as whole in Beds, Herts and Cambs, as it is for me. It reflects the high regard in which forensic investigation is held in the police service and indeed the country. There have been some huge changes in the field since I joined forty years ago. Computer technology in particular is the thing which has really moved forward."

– Dick Johnson OBE, Head of Scientific Services

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