Night Stalker warning over FSS closure
Prospect has written to the Times in response to today's (Friday) Thunderer piece - Expect more Night Stalkers under this privatisation plan - to reiterate the union's fears of over the impact the closure of the Forensic Science Service will have on the criminal justice system.
The letter highlights how, in its evidence this week to the Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into the closure, the union warned of "the damage that break-up would cause by splintering decades of evidential archives, practical expertise, interpretive skills and international co-operation over leading-edge research and development in this increasingly important field of crime detection."
Calling for the closure plans to be halted before crucial capacity is lost forever, the union also highlighted fears over the lack of enforcement of regulatory standards in some in-house police laboratories at a time when their involvement in the forensic ‘market' is increasing.
In the Times Thunderer piece science correspondent Hannah Devlin details the painstaking work undertaken by the FSS in bringing Night Stalker Delroy Grant to justice, and says:
"The case is a profound reminder of the power of forensic science - a reminder that could not be more timely with the planned closure of the FSS and its replacement by a wholly privatised sector.
"The FSS is seen by its critics as clunky and inefficient, but it is also meticulous and thorough. It is the central investigative agency that holds together each crucial strand of incriminating evidence. Without it, who will collate the DNA samples, the fibres, the case notes? Without each piece of the puzzle brought methodically together, there is no doubt that future Night Stalkers will slip needlessly through the net."