My forensic career started at Kent Police where I worked as a Crime Scene Investigator and then moved to the Centre for Investigative Skills (later Kent Police College) to train CSIs on their initial and development CSI courses, as well as training crime scene management and forensic science to police probationers and detectives. I later became the Volume Crime Manager, responsible for policies relating to the forensic response to volume crimes and forensic intelligence and was an operational Senior CSI, engaged in managing the forensic aspects of major and serious crime investigations and peer reviews of incidents in Kent and an IPCA investigation in Sussex. I was also the forensic lead for CBRN incidents after 9/11.
I have a wide array of interests but I am particularly involved with CSI work, crime scene management, forensic investigations and sexual offences. I possess an emerging interest in the value of digital equipment as sources of physical evidence, an area often ignored, and the value of novel forensic techniques in the investigation of crimes against heritage assets.
I am module leader for three core modules and one optional module in Forensic Investigation.
Research and knowledge exchange
I have been engaged by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and GEOS International to carry out exploratory research into rape and other forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Kenya so that an overall picture could be painted regarding the potential for capacity building at the Laboratory of the Government Chemist – the main forensic service provider in the country. This culminated in two reports on capacity building and the interlinkages between the police and health providers.
I work with Historic England and the National Police Chief's Council on heritage crime and am developing the application of scientific analyses to assist police forces in investigating metal theft, in particular. I am also project lead for the examination of the potential to create a robot or web crawler to search the internet for illegally sourced cultural artefacts.
Recently I provided a report on crime scene management for the defence team engaged by Eddie Gilfoyle who was convicted of murder in the absence of tangible physical evidence.
Teaching and subject expertise
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences since 1991
I hold a FSSoc diploma in crime scene examination, with 'retired' status.
My main teaching expertise is crime scene investigation, forensic investigation and forensic intelligence, strategies for major crime and the contextual value of evidence.
Member of the NPCC Heritage Crime Group
Presented at Historic England heritage crime conferences in 2016 (metal theft) and 2017 (shipwrecks).
Expert witness in R v Gilfoyle appeal.
Temporary expert to GIZ and GEOS International mission.
Reviewed Op Orchard (City of London Police).
Publications and research outputs
I regularly contribute to the Blackstone's series:
Blackstone's Student Police Officer Handbook 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (Oxford University Press)
Blackstone's Handbook for Policing Students 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 (Oxford University Press)
Blackstone's Student Police Officer Workbook (2010) (Oxford University Press)
and have carried out research and knowledge exchange for the German aid agency GIZ where I wrote two internal reports related to capacity building and gender based violence:
Lawton-Barrett, K. (2012) Capacity Building at the Kenyan Government Chemist. Deutsche GIZ: Bonn. An internal report.
Lawton-Barrett, K. (2012) Interlinking health services with the Government Chemist in Kenya. Deutsche GIZ: Bonn. An internal report.
These became part of a wider mission report to GIZ.