Inspectorates’ find Scientific Support Service significantly improved over last four years

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have published the findings of their final joint follow-up review of the Scientific Support Service within the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The review published today (Friday 30 October) is the third report tracking the progress made by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in implementing recommendations made following the first inspection in 2005.
“Inspectors are pleased to confirm that just four of the original 25 recommendations remain outstanding and we are confident these will be completed in line with the final Action Plan developed by the PSNI,” said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland.
“Scientific Support plays an important role in the identification and detection of crime. This is why Inspectors called for changes and improvements to be made in critical areas such as developing more consistent practice across the organisation regarding the management of forensic exhibits in 2005.
“Over the last four years significant improvements have been made. Steps have been taken to strengthen the policies, procedures and processes relating to forensic science and to communicate this improved information to police officers and other staff within the PSNI. Additional training to raise forensic awareness among officers has also been introduced,” said Mr McGuigan.
“This progress, coupled with efforts made with Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) to implement a more comprehensive tracking system for exhibits is to be welcomed. Every effort must continue to be made to maintain the current momentum and ensure this process is as robust as possible,” said Mr Ken Williams, advisor to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
“While Inspectors recognise the improvements that have occurred to date, we would encourage the PSNI to continue to strengthen its quality control arrangements in relation to the management and submission of exhibits to FSNI,” said Mr McGuigan.
In conclusion, Mr McGuigan and Mr Williams said Inspectors were encouraged that much had been done to address the concerns raised in the original inspection report.
“We are confident any outstanding issues will continue to be seen as a priority and will be receiving the attention of the PSNI until all work is completed,” they stated.
Copies of the original inspection report and all subsequent follow-up reviews can be downloaded from the CJI website-