The fight against crime and terrorism will be seriously undermined by the government’s decision to close the Forensic Science Service, MPs will be warned tomorrow (Tuesday).
In what could be the last opportunity for MPs to debate the future of the FSS before closure becomes a fait accompli, Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stonybridge and Hyde, will move an adjournment debate in Westminster Hall at 12.30 pm.
He will criticise the FSS closure, due to take effect by April 2012, on the grounds that it will denude the criminal justice system of independent, impartial advice and cause cost to determine justice.
On behalf of more than 1,000 forensic scientists, Alan Organ, president of the Prospect FSS branch, today demanded to know who will provide the co-ordinated capacity to deal with a major terrorist incident like 7/7, at a time of heightened fears for national security following the death of bin Laden.
“In the event of a major terrorist attack we fear there will be no one who can provide a comprehensive forensic service to the police and security services,” said Organ.
“The expertise that is concentrated in the FSS is being fragmented across a host of private companies and police forces. At present none of them has the full range of services to cope with a major incident.”
Other concerns over the FSS are the real cost to police of doing forensic work, the danger of a shrinking pool of private providers, the loss of services to smaller police forces, the damage to legacy ‘cold case’ work and the need to ensure real powers are given to the forensic science regulator.