Public Value in Forensic Sciences

The focus of this project is on the public value forensic services offer to the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland


This multidisciplinary research (in collaboration with Ulster University’s Business School) measures the holistic value of forensic services to the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. The study aims to generate tools for measuring value that will assist understanding and decision making in relation to the amount of forensics deployed at various stages of the Criminal Justice System flow-line from crime scene to court and to allow comparison between Northern Ireland and other similar jurisdictions. As the study develops, it will identify and implement processes of data-collection in order to build sufficient data to better inform strategic decision-making and budgetary allocations. The study’s findings will be expanded and deepened in the final report produced, drawing on a range of approaches to measuring value, in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the public value of forensic services. We aim to identify a comprehensive account of the different types of value that the services generate, and in ways that go beyond narrow financial indicators (although methods will be developed for accurately measuring the financial benefits these values produce). The study considers the value of FSNI to society in Northern Ireland, such as the value of the deterrence effects to offending and re-offending.

Our team of researchers has published the results of this research in a series of briefing papers and reports outlining the public value generated by the public sector. As part of this, the Centre produced new instruments of scaling and measuring public value in Northern Ireland, giving policy makers and public administrators access to data-sets that can inform strategic decision making.

Our latest research outputs:

Measuring Value in the Public Sector

The Application of Public Value in the BBC

Public Value Case Studies