» Lancashire Constabulary

10 March, 2015

Lancashire Constabulary set a precedent by being the first Police Force outside of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to set up their own in-house Forensics Service, thereby saving over £500,000 a year.

Following the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in March 2012, police forces across the UK had to find alternative organisations to carry out their forensic work, whilst incurring additional costs to do so.

Lancashire Constabulary reviewed their forensics services with the result that they decided to improve their own provision by keeping a number of services in-house. To ensure compliance to ISO/IEC 17025 : 2005, the Forensics Lab has achieved UKAS Accreditation for a number of tests enabling it to run crime scene investigations and demonstrate its capability for forensic provision equals that of external providers and private companies*.

UKAS has been involved in assessing laboratories undertaking forensic analysis since the 1980’s. This now covers a broad range of examination and testing activities, which is frequently extended to meet the increasing needs of forensic practitioners.

UKAS accreditation not only provides authoritative assurance of the technical competence of a laboratory to undertake specified analyses but also reviews particular aspects relevant to the Criminal Justice System, for example, continuity of evidence, management of case files, storage of exhibits. In addition accreditation determines the competence of staff, the validity and suitability of methods, the appropriateness of equipment and facilities, and the ongoing assurance through internal quality control.
Many forensic laboratories, from large multi-site organisations to smaller specialist companies, are now UKAS accredited.

*Please view full article. With thanks to Police Professional magazine for allowing us to reprint this article.