UK planning new forensic and biometrics service
The Home Office is planning a new forensic and biometrics service where, according to government officials, there will be a “national approach” to forensic science in criminal cases in England and Wales.
Its predecessor, the government-owned Forensic Science Service was shut down in 2012 after the government said it lost £2m each month, reports the BBC.
Work was then transferred to in-house police labs and private firms despite warnings from politicians, scientists and lawyers that closing the forensic science archive could affect the administration of justice and would require police forces to create and maintain individual storage systems.
In 2015, the National Audit Office warned the government that forensic science standards were slipping because police were relying on unregulated experts to examine crime scenes and collect samples from suspects.
Ministers said they were backing a police review on establishing a joint forensic and biometrics service to achieve economies of scale and increased capability.