The Home Office has announced a new 13 point action plan designed to improve police forensic investigations.
The commitments have been made in a bid to improve public confidence, help to support the criminal justice system and ensure the quality and stability of forensics remains.
The plan has been published alongside the findings of a review commissioned by the Home Office into the quality of forensic services in policing, in areas including DNA and fingerprint evidence.
The report found that urgent action was required to help make the system sustainable.
In the review, there are a series of recommendations, including making providers adhere to the quality standards set by the Forensic Science Regulator and ensuring the market’s commercial models are sustainable and open to investment.
The Government have also committed to meeting their aims with a 13 point implementation plan. This includes:
- Stabilising the market through a new, long-term commercial strategy delivered by the Forensics Capability Network to better co-ordinate police forces’ approach to forensics
- Continuing to support Chris Green MP’s Private Member’s Bill to give the regulator statutory powers of enforcement, as well as supporting the regulator’s accreditation timetable
- Working with national bodies, such as UK Research and Innovation, alongside the Ministry of Justice to establish a new oversight mechanism for research and development
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said: “Forensic science is an invaluable tool for bringing criminals to justice.
“We must ensure it’s sustainable, works at a high standard, and has the confidence of the public. This is why I commissioned this review and we are now taking action to strengthen the market.”