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Urgent Questions: Forensic testing

Privatisation of the Forensic Science Service happened under the Coalition Government on the grounds of cost. But a large number of experts noted how this would put forensic evidence at risk of manipulation for the sake of profit.

Last week the police reported a review of thousands of cases after the potential manipulation of data at two forensic laboratories. This has put cases at risk and may cause a large number of retrials at a potential cost to the public.

As a former minister in the Home Office that decided that privatisation of the service would cause these very problems, I wanted the minister to account for who will be responsible for the costs of this failure.

The minister decided to take a combative approach to his response. This issue is far bigger than political point scoring and it would serve him and the Government well to secure a decent outcome for the public instead of trying to stick to the mantra ‘private good, public bad.’