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Forensic Science Laboratory

Volume 895: debated on Thursday 17 July 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make an official visit to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Lambeth.

In relation to my hon. Friend's reply of 19th June, is he suggesting that he was told by Dr. Margaret Pereira and her colleagues that it might not be scientifically possible to derive benefit from information about blood sample data both in catching criminals and in saving valuable detective time?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for allowing me to clear up this matter. I suspect that on his visit, when he saw Dr. Pereria, who is a senior principal scientific officer, he was given an estimate about the effectiveness of this—an estimate which was not entirely shared by the Controller of the Forensic Science Service or the Director of the Metropolitan Police Laboratory. As a result, we are getting different advice, but my advice is that it is not yet scientifically possible to set up a blood bank national service in the way he espoused and that, before we can take a decision on this matter, there must be further scientific progress.