Dave Scaysbrook BSc, CBiol, MSB

Specialism: forensic biology and fires

David joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory (MPFSL) in 1974 as a trainee biologist in the blood grouping section.

Selected by the laboratory for a full time university sponsorship in 1977, he graduated with an honours degree in applied biology in 1981. David soon became a biology division court going reporting officer and also trained in textile fibres work.

In 1986 he applied to join the lab’s Fire Investigation Unit – and was the first biologist ever selected – where he stayed for a very happy 10 years. During that period he investigated numerous fatal, suspicious and deliberate fires together with gas and vapour explosions. He was an integral part of the Police-Fire Brigade liaison forum, partly responsible for designing and introducing the liaison form which proved so useful and became a model document for forces and brigades nationwide. He was also heavily involved in designing and delivering training in fire investigation techniques to scenes of crime personnel.

Following the merger of the MPFSL with the Home Office Forensic Science Service in 1996 David became a Serious Crime Specialist Advisor. In 1997 he returned to the biology division, took up a role as team leader and re-familiarised in DNA profiling and blood pattern distribution techniques. He supported numerous high profile police investigations including murders, robberies and series rapes, receiving several commendations.

In 2001 he transferred to the FSS Chepstow laboratory. There he continued as a body fluids/fibres reporting officer and team leader but also became local lead on fire investigation issues. During that period he also undertook forensic science laboratory technical reviews in Canada and the USA. When the Chepstow lab was closed in 2010 David became a consultant.

David has long taken a keen interest in training, mentoring and coaching new recruits, including expert witness courses for all grades – “experience is an incredibly important factor in forensic science but a newer younger mind often has a fresh look and produces some interesting views – the combination can be extremely constructive”.