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Forensic Science Research and Development

Volume 530: debated on Thursday 30 June 2011

On 27 January I announced a review of research and development in forensic science. The Government are today publishing this review and copies will be placed in the House Library. The review is also available on the Home Office website.

I welcome this review into research and development in forensic science. I would like to encourage all members of the forensic science community to consider it carefully, and consider how they can work together to co-ordinate, deliver and communicate research in this important field.

Research within commercial providers is one element of a much bigger landscape. I note the recommendation that the Home Office forensic transition board, which I chair, should pay specific attention to the research and development requirement in the framework agreement for forensic science providers. The review shows that research and development is already an integral part of the work of any commercial forensic science provider and that there are natural links between casework and research.

I fully accept the recommendation and can underline the Home Office’s view that forensic science providers do need to undertake appropriate research and development to support their role in the criminal justice system. Providers competing to provide innovative services at the lowest cost will preserve police resources and maximise the positive impact forensic sciences can have on tackling crime.

Professor Silverman, the Home Office chief scientific adviser, will continue to work with the forensic science research community and research funders to help co-ordinate and support research in forensic science.