UCL Department of Security and Crime Science


House of Lord Science and Technology Committee launches forensic science report

2 May 2019

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has released a damning report on the state of forensic science provision in England and Wales. To ensure the effective delivery of justice, they have called for urgent reforms in order to regain our world class reputation. Once regarded as world-leading in forensic science, an absence of high-level leadership, a lack of funding and an insufficient level of research and development now means the UK is lagging behind others. The forensic science market is not properly regulated, creating a state of crisis and a threat to the criminal justice system.

Prof Ruth Morgan, UCL Security and Crime Science academic and Specialist Adviser to the Committee, said, "Forensic science has been the subject of a number of inquiries in recent years, but the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry is unique in taking a holistic view of the whole system. The recommendations are far reaching, integrated and systemic, and strongly acknowledge the urgency of acting now to stop forensic science lurching from crisis to crisis, and ensuring trust in the justice system".

Lord Patel, chair of the Committee, said, "The situation we are in cannot continue. Since 2012 the Home Office has made empty promises to give the Forensic Science Regulator statutory powers but still no action has been taken. We believe that seven years is an embarrassing amount of time to delay legislation; our forensic science provision has now reached breaking point and a complete overhaul is needed. If our recommendations are implemented and the Government adequately invests in forensic science, our forensic science market can return to a world leading position.”

For the full set of recommendations, you can read the report itself on the UK Parliament website. You might also like to read this longer article on the UCL News website.