Skip to main content
Menu

How can forensic science improve its contribution to the delievery of justice in the UK


The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee will hear from academics and the police on Tuesday 9 October, as part of its inquiry on the state of forensic science in the UK.

The inquiry is looking at the contribution forensic science makes to the delivery of justice in the UK and its strengths and weaknesses in doing so. It will also explore the understanding and use of forensic evidence in the criminal justice system and how this evidence can be used effectively and robustly throughout the process.

Giving evidence to the Committee at 3.30pm on Tuesday 9 October will be:

  • Professor Tim Thompson, Teesside University; 
  • Dr Karl Harrison, Cranfield Forensic Institute, Cranfield University; and
  • Dr Sarah Morris, Cranfield Forensic Institute, Cranfield University.

Questions are likely to include:

  • What are the current strengths and weaknesses of forensic science in support of justice?
  • What is the scientific evidence base for the use of forensic techniques in the investigation and prosecution of crimes?
  • How can the Criminal Justice System be equipped with robust, accurate and transparent forensic science? What channels of communication are needed between scientists, lawyers and the judiciary?
  • What are the differences between what forensic science provision is available to the prosecution and defence?
  • Is the current market for forensic services in England and Wales sustainable?
  • How should further research funding for forensic science be justified?
  • Is enough being done to prepare for the increasing role that digital forensics will have in the future?

Giving evidence to the Committee at 4.30pm will be:

  • Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC);
  • Chief Constable James Vaughan, Chief Constable of Dorset Police, leads on forensics for the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC); and
  • Jo Ashworth, NPCC Transforming Forensics Programme.

Questions are likely to include:

  • What is the transforming forensics programme?
  • What were the outcomes of the review of forensic service provision?
  • What changes needed to ensure forensic science provision is maintained at the level required?
  • What are the risks of a market approach?
  • Why will many police forensic labs not meet deadlines set for accreditation by the regulator? What needs to be done to ensure labs can be accredited?
  • What role should the Forensic Science Regulator have? If the Forensic Science Regulator is to have statutory powers, what should these be?
  • Is enough being done to prepare for the increasing role that digital forensics will have in the future?

The session will begin at 3.30pm on Tuesday 9 October in Committee Room 4A in the House of Lords.

Latest tweets

Loading...

Subscribe to Lords newsletter

Sign up for the House of Lords newsletter for the latest news, debates and business