The Home Office has announced plans to improve the quality and stability of forensics provision. This was announced alongside the publication of the findings of a review commissioned by the Home Office into the provision of forensic services to criminal investigations and criminal court proceedings, which evaluated both 'in-house' and commercial forensic services, and the quality, cost and delivery of all forms of forensics.
The review found that urgent action is required to make the current system sustainable. It makes a series of recommendations, including making providers adhere to the quality standards set by the Forensic Science Regulator and ensuring the market's commercial models are sustainable and open to investment. The government is committed to meeting these aims with a 13-point implementation plan, which includes:
- Stabilising the market through a new, long-term commercial strategy delivered by the Forensics Capability Network to better co-ordinate police forces' approach to forensics
- Continuing to support Chris Green MP's Private Member's Bill to give the regulator statutory powers of enforcement, as well as supporting the regulator's accreditation timetable
- Working with national bodies, such as UK Research and Innovation, alongside the Ministry of Justice to establish a new oversight mechanism for research and development
The review was carried out jointly with the Home Office, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and the National Police Chiefs' Council and has been welcomed as an opportunity to ensure this vital area of policing is sustainable and high quality.