UK government defends closure of Forensic Science Service

On October 31, the UK government release a 23-page response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's July 2011 inquiry report on the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS). The recent response outlines the reason the FSS was in financial trouble, explains why closure was necessary, and provides an update on current progress in the managed wind-down of the FSS. This is followed by a paragraph-by-paragraph response to the science and technology committee's report.

Chair of the committee, Andrew Miller MP, issued a statement regarding the government response, saying: "It is disappointing that the Home Office has failed to recognize that the choice to close the FSS should not have been taken purely on commercial and legal grounds, but also on methodical grounds.

"The government says it is confident that the wind-down of the FSS is the right choice. I will be asking the committee to keep a close eye on the transition as I still dread that the forensic science research base and criminal justice system could be jeopardized if the Minister's optimism is ill founded."

The full report can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Click here to read more from the BBC.

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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.