Forensic science standards risk slipping23 Jan 2015
‘Forensic science standards risk slipping since work was transferred to in-house police labs and private firms,’ according to a recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO). ‘Police are commissioning more work from their own laboratories - with an estimated £122m being spent this year - but the NAO said many in-house labs did not meet accreditation standards’.
The NAO also said that : ‘The Forensic Science Regulator, which monitors the work, does not have complete data on which police labs are accredited and has no statutory powers to enforce them to comply with standards’.
These drastic changes in the quality of forensic science services means that your client’s right to a fair trial is being eroded. It is no longer a given that any forensic evidence offered by the prosecution will be either sound or comprehensive. It is therefore vital, in all cases, that you have the forensic evidence presented against your client independently examined.
If you have a case where a forensic statement forms part of the evidence please send it to us:
One of our senior forensic scientists will undertake an initial review of the case in order to check that the forensic evidence is correct and of a sufficiently high standard for court.
If it is not, and we find cause for concern we shall offer a proposed case strategy to independently re-examine the evidence and provide an estimate of costs for LAA funding approval in order to do so.
Forensic Equity is uniquely placed to review any forensic evidence, comment on its quality, challenge the prosecution’s findings if they are not up to standard and carry out further forensic examinations and analysis if necessary.
Our forensic scientists are all highly qualified and are all highly respected authorities in their chosen fields.
Most importantly, all of them have worked in properly accredited forensic laboratories, including the government run Forensic Science Service, which effectively used to act as the quality watchdog for all forensic work prior to its demise in 2012. Our forensic scientists are therefore in no doubt as to the standards that should be complied with in regard to forensic evidence and they will not hesitate to take the prosecution to task on your client’s behalf should those standards not be met.