Forensic Testing

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th June 2018.

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Photo of Ruth George Ruth George Labour, High Peak 12:00 am, 4th June 2018

What recent assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for forensic test results in criminal cases.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

Waiting times for forensic test results differ between police forces depending on the types of tests required and the different arrangements that each police force has in place to deliver its forensic services.

Photo of Ruth George Ruth George Labour, High Peak

My local police force in Derbyshire tells me that, since the closure of one of the private forensic testing companies, it now takes more than six months for forensic tests in criminal cases to come back. That is obviously far in excess of the pre-charge bail conditions that it can put on people, and is seriously hampering it in its abilities to arrest and detain offenders.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

I assume that that data is true, and I share the hon. Lady’s concern about it. Our overall perception is that the majority of forensic services are currently being delivered faster, more reliably and to higher quality standards than in the past, but the system has had to absorb a couple of quite significant shocks recently, which is why I am conducting a review with stakeholders into the future effectiveness of the forensic market.