“Police forces must not treat quality standards for forensic science as an optional extra” – Dr. Gillian Tully.
Over the last five years, the right to a fair hearing and access to justice for all has been undermined for many people. Firstly with cuts to Legal Aid entitlement. Secondly, with the introduction of fees for industrial tribunals. Under threat is the future of forensic science. Since the abolition of the Forensic Science Service in 2012, private contractors and forensic services in some police forces have filled the vacuum.
Standing in the way of quality is financial pressures. This is compromising the way we see sensitive cases handled, such as murder and sexual assault. Proposed departmental cuts by HM Government could see more mistakes and miscarriages of justices.
In The Guardian, Dr. Gillian Tully said: “Spending on forensic science has gone down. We are approaching the stage where we are at the very limit of these cuts, and it cannot be cut further as quality will be compromised.” She also pointed the finger at cuts to legal aid which is compromising the work of forensic scientists.
Furthermore, in her annual report, she also said that: “Police forces must not treat quality standards for forensic science as an optional extra”.
Police forces are doing the best they can with limited resources. They too have been affected by the departmental cuts that have undermined forensic work as well as frontline policing. Ultimately, the buck stops with Her Majesty’s Government for abolishing the Forensic Science Service and the framework which offers justice for all.