Work by Lancashire Police and a DNA company in tracking a gang of armed robbers who shot a security guard has been recognised nationally.
The force was the first in the UK to use DNA analysis of dyed notes as they investigated a cash-in-transit robbery in Blackburn in 2008.
The security dye, made by the specialist chemical firm, ADNAS, contained a unique DNA code.
ADNAS and the police are in the final for an Excellence in Policing award.
The stained notes were traced back to the exact box used on a delivery which resulted in the conviction of five men.
Since Lancashire Police came up with the idea of using security dye with DNA in it to trace stolen bank notes, 33 different cases have been solved from a number of different forces.
Det Supt Neil Hunter said: "Both this initiative and the partnership itself has challenged the traditional way the police do their business and introduced an imaginative way of forensically submitting dye stained notes stolen during cash in transit robberies.
"Working with ADNAS during our investigation and the ground breaking work around linking and identifying the staining on the notes to the money that was stolen during the robbery was crucial."