The Construction of DNA Profiling Evidence Within Public and Private Models of Forensic Science Provision

Karen Richmond

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Abstract

The United Kingdom forensic science sector has undergone significant development in recent years. Following the closure of the Forensic Science Service, provision in England and Wales is now delivered by way of a commercial market. Similar provision in Scotland and Northern Ireland remains within the public sector. Meanwhile, many police forces choose to operate additional ‘in-house’ laboratories.

In all parts of the UK, forensic science provision has become productised, and police forces have reoriented themselves as consumers. As such, they have become increasingly concerned with economic value. Meanwhile forensic science providers have been tasked with maintaining a high-quality service that conforms to a body of overarching regulations. Studies suggest that these commercial developments have had a particular impact within the field of forensic DNA analysis, and may affect the way in which DNA evidence is constructed.

This research project explores the impact that these changes in policy and governance have had on the routine practices of forensic DNA experts in different parts of the UK, with a particular focus on the construction of analytical reports. The purpose of this comparative study is thus to gain a clearer understanding of the ways in which providers have responded to changes in governance and policy, and to assess the practical effects of resulting adaptations. It attempts to identify examples of best practice, whilst highlighting significant trends, problems and opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016

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