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Forensic Science Service Ltd

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why they plan to close the Forensic Science Service in Chorley; and what proposals they have for the services it offers to be provided for elsewhere in the north-west. [HL6119]

The FSS has recently announced a transformation programme, which the Government fully support. As part of this, the FSS will move to a new national structure based around four primary sites at Birmingham, Huntingdon, London and Wetherby. 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 customers’ needs. DNA analytical facilities are currently based at Huntingdon, London, Trident Court (Birmingham) and Wetherby.

The services currently provided by the Chorley laboratory will become part of the new national structure, operated from the four sites listed above. It is worth highlighting that proximity to a forensic science laboratory does not appear to be a key consideration for forces when selecting a forensic science provider. For example, north-west police forces awarded approximately 10 per cent of their main casework to the FSS in the recent tender incorporating the 14 police forces from the north-west, the south-west and Wales.