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Forensic Science Service

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have been held between his Department, the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and chief constables on the proposed closure of FSS centres. (295988)

Such discussions have been a matter for FSS Ltd. The FSS is moving to the new structure in response to the requirements of customers, in line with the new National Forensic Procurement Framework. Consequently, it has consulted closely with customers. This has included corresponding with all chief constables in England and Wales to keep them informed of progress. With a number of chief constables, there have also been informal discussions, at the invitation of the then executive chairman.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria have been taken into account when assessing the costs and benefits of closing forensic science centres. (295990)

The new national structure will be based around four primary sites and a number of factors were carefully considered when selecting the sites to support this structure.

One of the main considerations was the co-location of body fluid examination with DNA analytical facilities to meet the FSS’ customers’ needs. DNA analytical facilities are currently based at Huntingdon, London, Trident Court and Wetherby.

Other considerations include available laboratory space, ability to deliver National Framework, resilient team sizes, response to scenes, mix of skills, alignment to the new structure and the presence of a business stream on at least two sites.