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Forensic Science: Genetics

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what percentage of forensic reports arising from low template DNA (LTDNA) analyses have included caveats on the reliability of the results; whether she plans to establish national (a) standards and (b) guidelines on the (i) collection, (ii) handling and (iii) storage of evidence that might yield DNA material by (A) police and (B) forensic services; and if she will make a statement; (201980)

(2) if she will take steps to establish national (a) agreement, (b) standards and (c) guidelines on how low template DNA profiles should be interpreted; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office does not hold data on the contents of forensic reports; therefore it is not possible to supply the information on the percentage of reports with caveats.

The independent Forensic Science Regulator is responsible for developing standards in this area; the Home Office does not plan to establish separate guidelines or standards.

The Regulator has recently issued his response to the recommendations in ‘A Review of the Science of Low Template DNA Analysis’ which considers collection, storage and interpretation.