Crime Scene Investigation

AFA International

We are supporting AFA to become a leading international forensics, criminal justice and security provider, supporting public and private clients both at home in the UK, and abroad.


What we're doing

AFA is a UK based group of businesses providing forensic services and criminal justice & security programmes to a range of public and private clients in the UK and low-middle income countries.

Limerston was introduced to the platform entity’s owner-management teams (Forensic Access and Axiom International) in 2019 through existing fund relationships and went on to create an exciting vision for the value creation opportunity for the management teams.

At the time, Forensic Access was a small provider of highly sought-after niche forensic services (e.g., fingerprint enhancement, firearms scene analysis), and Axiom International was a specialist provider of policing and rule of law capacity building programmes, serving low-middle income countries on behalf of the UK government via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (now FCDO) frameworks. We were attracted to the significant expertise of the two entities and the highly fragmented markets in which they operated, providing the opportunity to build a leading, scale player in forensics, criminal justice and security.

We entered an off-market process directly with Forensic Access and Axiom International senior leadership and executed a management buyout in 2020.

Following the acquisition, we set out to build a world leader in forensic and criminal justice services provision, both in the UK and internationally. Through acquiring targets already identified to expand expertise (e.g., strategic communications, cyber security, digital forensics, etc.), widening coverage through diversification in sources of funding and increasing capacity and efficiency by improving systems, both organisational and IT related.

One year into ownership and we have made a significant amount of progress on the value creation strategy.

We quickly mobilised around the ‘build and build’ plan, executing three acquisitions to date. First, IntaForensics, a digital forensics and cyber security firm; adding increasingly important forensic and security services to the group, in addition to broadening the client base into private funding. Second, Torchlight Group, an international intelligence and security capacity building firm; adding to the “criminal justice and security” expertise of the group, as well as diversified US funding relationships. Third, Alecto, the UK’s leading forensic archaeology, anthropology and ecology providers; adding further highly sought-after niche forensic services and a UK and internationally recognised expert leadership team.

We also set about improving the group’s systems, implementing an ERP system across the group, integrating the CRM efforts into a single platform, and launching a software development programme to accelerate the new version of the Lima software, part of the IntaForensics offering of case management software to law enforcement agencies (and currently the UK leader in this market).

Police Cars

Key takeaways

Business services

Year Invested


Deal Type

Private sale




3 Add-ons

Prosecution and defence cases supported.

Expanding areas of expertise and funding diversification.

90+ Programmes

International capacity building programmes delivered.