Forensic science service to be wound up

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The Independent Online

The Forensic Science Service is to be wound up, the Government said today.

Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said action needed to be taken as the service was making operational losses of £2 million per month and was likely to run out of money by January.

The aim is that there will be "no continuing state interest in a forensics provider by March 2012", Mr Brokenshire told MPs.

Mr Brokenshire said: "The current challenging forensics market has put the FSS back into serious financial difficulty.

"FSS is currently making operating losses of around £2 million per month.

"Its cash is due to run out as early as January next year.

"It is vital we take clear and decisive action to sort this out."

In a written statement to MPs, he went on: "The police have advised us that their spend on external forensic suppliers will continue to fall over the next few years as forces seek to maximise efficiencies in this area. HMIC (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary) concur with this assessment.

"We have therefore decided to support the wind down of the FSS, transferring or selling off as much of its operations as possible.

"We will work with FSS management and staff, Acpo (Association of Chief Police Officers) and other suppliers to ensure an orderly transition but our firm ambition is that there will be no continuing state interest in a forensics provider by March 2012."

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