Andrew David Barclay (Dave) BSc, MSc, DSc, FFSSoc


Dave has a BSc degree with joint Honours in Chemistry and Zoology, and an MSc in Forensic Science and is a Fellow of the Forensic Science Society. He was a practising forensic scientist accredited by the UK Home Office as an authorised analyst from 1972, and from 1996 until he retired in 2005 was Head of Physical Evidence at the National Crime and Operations Faculty (NCOF), Bramshill.

NCOF is a UK wide organisation funded by the Police Service to provide expertise and operational support in the most complex crimes of violence such as rape series, stranger murders and the murders of children or vulnerable adults. During his NCOF duties Dave reviewed approximately 235 undetected murders or murder series in the UK and worldwide. It is now part of the National Police Improvement Agency.

His expertise consists of taking an overview of physical evidence in context with the work of behavioural investigative analysts (previously known as psychological or offender profilers), crime analysts and other evidence, assessing significance, and co-ordinating information from multiple sources. He undertook formal physical evidence reviews (finger-marks, pathologyand other forensic sciences) in several cases including the Soham murders, Sarah Payne, Milly Dowler, the Cardiff Five Miscarriage of Justice and the recent re-investigation of the World’s End murders in Scotland (1977). He was also responsible for determining and co-ordinating all the physical evidence activities in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Omagh bomb investigation.

Dave has reviewed cases at the request of the authorities in the USA, Canada, Holland, Germany, Portugal, South Africa and many in Australia including the Claremont series of murders and the proven Miscarriage of Justice known as the ‘Andrew Mallard’ case (the murder of Pamela Lawrence, Perth 1994).

He has published and lectured extensively worldwide on these subjects, and has given keynote lectures at over 15 investigative, scientific or education conferences, and was the scientific advisor to the 2005 UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Forensic Science. Dave is on the Advisory Board of the International Homicide Investigators Association, an organisation funded by the US Government.

Dave is currently a senior lecturer at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hull. Apart from his teaching post at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, Dave provides consultancy services to UK police forces and defence solicitors in the assessment of physical evidence in context, with current (2010) cases including an undetected murder from the UK, and defence cases from Australia, the USA and the UK.

He has been involved as a scientific advisor or appeared in front of camera in a large number of science programmes (TV and radio) and in several investigative documentaries about high profile cases e.g. Dispatches ‘The Madeleine McCann Mystery’ shown on ITV.He recently appeared as a consultant for al Jazeera, commenting on the allegation that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had been murdered by polonium poisoning.

On a more social note Dave is a keen trout fisherman and a Trustee of Wester Ross Fisheries Trust, the past Captain of Gairloch Golf Club (2005-2010), and played football (as a goalkeeper) and cricket for many years, ending up as a Grade A cricket umpire. We are delighted that he continues to help us and thank him for his previous contributions as our Trustee.

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