Publication of the Forensic Strategy

Home Office written statement – made at on 11 March 2016.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

I am pleased to announce that my rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House the Forensic Science Strategy – A National Approach to Forensic Science Delivery (Cm 9217), copies of which are available from the Vote Office.

This strategy articulates the Government’s vision for a clearer system of governance to ensure quality standards and proper ethical oversight, a cost effective service that delivers robust relevant forensic evidence across the CJS, strengthening public and judicial trust in forensic science.

Through consultation with our key partners including the police, Forensic Science Regulator, Crown Prosecution Service and forensic service providers, the Strategy sets out how forensic science will keep pace with the changing world to deal with significant threats and challenges – for example, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and the proliferation of digital forensic material generated by this crime. It also addresses what can be best delivered at national and local levels, setting out the Government’s expectations in the following areas:

  • consistent quality management across policing, including a clearer statutory role for the Forensic Regulator,
  • enhanced governance for the forensics system, including a wider role for the ethics group,
  • a review by policing of the case for moving current fragmented provision into a Joint Forensic and Biometric Service,
  • ongoing oversight of the health of the supply chain, including contingency plans developed by policing to cope with disruption to the market
  • use of the Police Innovation Fund to encourage innovative new approaches to the application of forensic science,
  • working closely with research councils to identify new opportunities and influences for forensic science cost effectively,
  • working with the College of Policing to understand the capabilities required within the forensic science workforce, and:
  • nurturing a stronger partnership with industry and education to ensure that learning programmes are future proofed and aligned to the business requirements.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS594