Criminal Justice Inspection reports on Scientfic Support Services in the PSNI

A joint inspection by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate Northern Ireland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary confirmed the increasing value of forensic science expertise in the investigation of crime in Northern Ireland.

Inspectors acknowledge the commitment and dedication of PSNI staff engaged in this critically important aspect of crime investigation.  However they say:
“More effective communication should take place between management and scientific support staff including the resolution of issues relating to performance assessment, on call allowances and accommodation” 
Inspectors say that the investigation of “volume” crime such as domestic burglary and theft (as opposed to “serious” crime such as rape and murder) requires a higher priority within the Police Service and recommend the nomination of a ‘champion’ for volume crime.
They express concern with the management of forensic science exhibits within the Police Service.  They say that:
"Policies and processes for the storage, retention, management, weeding and destruction of forensic property should be urgently reviewed and implemented".
They recognise that PSNI is working with forensic science laboratories, particularly FSNI as its main supplier, to provide a more effective and better value service.  They recommend that:
“Joint planning with PSNI and FSNI should address concerns around crime scene attendance including serious road traffic collisions, better coordination of fingerprints expertise and revised arrangements for the submission of exhibits to the laboratory.”
Summing up, Kit Chivers, the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice and Ken Williams, HM Inspector of Constabulary say: 
"We are pleased that PSNI are already acting upon the recommendations of this report and continue to strengthen their scientific support capacity."