Lancashire's forensic science laboratory to close

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: ALERT: MP Lindsay Hoyle says criminal cases will be affected ALERT: MP Lindsay Hoyle says criminal cases will be affected

LANCASHIRE police will have to use forensic science services in Yorkshire after the closure of the county's centre was confirmed.

The Forensic Science Service said its Washington Hall base in Euxton, will close in March 2011 with the loss of 200 jobs.

It means the closest forensic facilities will be in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, around 80 miles away..

Mick Gradwell, a retired detective superintendent who until last year headed East Lancashire’s major investigation team, said he felt the loss of local services would have an effect on the force.

He said: “Generations of detectives went to Euxton during their training and went on to develop relationships with the scientists.

“I visited the centre during numerous investigations. It was like a one-stop shop, you could see the specialists on fire damage and at the same time talk to people analysing blood samples on the same case.

“The forensic centre is close by for officers in Lancashire and is highly valued by detectives.

“The last time I was there was for the Caneze Riaz case when she and her four daughters were murdered in a deliberate house fire in Accrington.

“We needed petrol cans analysing quickly, soon after the start of the investigation.”

Under the cuts, there will be just four centres nationally.

Prospect, the union representing FSS staff, said the changes would 'decimate' the ability of the service to analyse current levels of criminal evidence and leave the region without public sector forensic cover.

FSS branch secretary Helen Kenny, said: “The cuts are driven by claims that the workload has diminished, which we don’t accept, no-one has seen the crime rate go down.”

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said when the closure was announced that 'criminal cases would be compromised' by the withdrawal of FFS services from the region.

A spokesman for Lancashire police said they were in discussions with the FSS on future provision of services but declined to comment further on the closure.

Comments (11)

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5:19pm Wed 29 Sep 10

Barry11 says...

Who has decided that this should happen?
Why dont the "powers that be" listen to experts!!
This will slow down the already slow judicial system een more!
The world has gone mad!!
Who has decided that this should happen? Why dont the "powers that be" listen to experts!! This will slow down the already slow judicial system een more! The world has gone mad!! Barry11
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Wed 29 Sep 10

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

Scratches head and tries to work out what good closing down this Lab will do.
Scratches head and tries to work out what good closing down this Lab will do. Michael@ClitheroeSince58
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Wed 29 Sep 10

MerlinTheVoiceofReason says...

The Tories tried to Con us into believing that they would cut the deficit by ridding us of waste. This is slashing front line services and will help give the criminals an easier ride. The reason this Government was quick to scrap targets is because they know that at the end of 5 yrs, crime will be worse, schools will be worse and hospitals will be worse ... but if you don't measure the standards, you can't be judged can you?
The Tories tried to Con us into believing that they would cut the deficit by ridding us of waste. This is slashing front line services and will help give the criminals an easier ride. The reason this Government was quick to scrap targets is because they know that at the end of 5 yrs, crime will be worse, schools will be worse and hospitals will be worse ... but if you don't measure the standards, you can't be judged can you? MerlinTheVoiceofReason
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Wed 29 Sep 10

pez63 says...

MerlinTheVoiceofReas
on
wrote:
The Tories tried to Con us into believing that they would cut the deficit by ridding us of waste. This is slashing front line services and will help give the criminals an easier ride. The reason this Government was quick to scrap targets is because they know that at the end of 5 yrs, crime will be worse, schools will be worse and hospitals will be worse ... but if you don't measure the standards, you can't be judged can you?
You have to understand what boom and bust was all about,it sure was not any benefits society who profited from it,it was the middle class over educated lazy lay abouts given highly paid jobs that where not needed in the first place,wait while they hit the NHS to dig out all these middle class quangos doing nowt but sat on their **** all day waiting for the £50k per ann to drop through the door,under liebour all the front line services have been over managed with to many quangos and they all need shaving down a bit,its time to wake up people and smell the coffee you are skint,you can`t afford two labs anymore infact if things get any worse our constables won`t have an helmet to p1ss in.
[quote][p][bold]MerlinTheVoiceofReas on[/bold] wrote: The Tories tried to Con us into believing that they would cut the deficit by ridding us of waste. This is slashing front line services and will help give the criminals an easier ride. The reason this Government was quick to scrap targets is because they know that at the end of 5 yrs, crime will be worse, schools will be worse and hospitals will be worse ... but if you don't measure the standards, you can't be judged can you?[/p][/quote]You have to understand what boom and bust was all about,it sure was not any benefits society who profited from it,it was the middle class over educated lazy lay abouts given highly paid jobs that where not needed in the first place,wait while they hit the NHS to dig out all these middle class quangos doing nowt but sat on their **** all day waiting for the £50k per ann to drop through the door,under liebour all the front line services have been over managed with to many quangos and they all need shaving down a bit,its time to wake up people and smell the coffee you are skint,you can`t afford two labs anymore infact if things get any worse our constables won`t have an helmet to p1ss in. pez63
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Wed 29 Sep 10

frank says...

unbelievable, if the con dems want to make saving they should start by halving the number of M(alingering) P(arasite)s
they want to cut benefits which will almost certainly lead to an increase in crime, we're told the number of police will be cut , so there is less chance of anyone being caught, now we have this
it's pathetic.
unbelievable, if the con dems want to make saving they should start by halving the number of M(alingering) P(arasite)s they want to cut benefits which will almost certainly lead to an increase in crime, we're told the number of police will be cut , so there is less chance of anyone being caught, now we have this it's pathetic. frank
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Wed 29 Sep 10

halfhearted says...

Lancashire Constabulary will now have to review their cuts yet again to cover the extra cost in taking evidence to Wetherby instead of Euxton, which is on the doorstep.
What a waste.
Lancashire Constabulary will now have to review their cuts yet again to cover the extra cost in taking evidence to Wetherby instead of Euxton, which is on the doorstep. What a waste. halfhearted
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Wed 29 Sep 10

tillymilly says...

What a joke, my eldest son is in his last year at university studying forensics. His intention has been for many years to join the police and eventually work in forensics. Neither of these options look like being possible now, thanks to the powers that be. Wonder what career path he will now have to follow?
What a joke, my eldest son is in his last year at university studying forensics. His intention has been for many years to join the police and eventually work in forensics. Neither of these options look like being possible now, thanks to the powers that be. Wonder what career path he will now have to follow? tillymilly
  • Score: 0

12:11am Thu 30 Sep 10

Grizzly says...

tillymilly wrote:
What a joke, my eldest son is in his last year at university studying forensics. His intention has been for many years to join the police and eventually work in forensics. Neither of these options look like being possible now, thanks to the powers that be. Wonder what career path he will now have to follow?
Tell him to keep his head down, study hard and when he qualifies, they'll be plenty of job offers for him in other countries, such as Oz, that value these types of services.

he'll be miles better off out of here with the way things are going...
[quote][p][bold]tillymilly[/bold] wrote: What a joke, my eldest son is in his last year at university studying forensics. His intention has been for many years to join the police and eventually work in forensics. Neither of these options look like being possible now, thanks to the powers that be. Wonder what career path he will now have to follow?[/p][/quote]Tell him to keep his head down, study hard and when he qualifies, they'll be plenty of job offers for him in other countries, such as Oz, that value these types of services. he'll be miles better off out of here with the way things are going... Grizzly
  • Score: 0

9:20am Thu 30 Sep 10

midas says...

Having read the comments there seems to be an error in the article. I didn't realise that Lancashire Constab would no longer be using forensic analysis, I thought that the facility was being closed down and the work would know be done in Wetherby.
.
Perhaps the lab in Wetherby is bigger, more modern, able to produce results faster, has better staff , better equipment and more capacity for growth.
.
The extra cost of transport is negated by the savings that will occur in closing the old lab in Euxton.
.
Having read the comments there seems to be an error in the article. I didn't realise that Lancashire Constab would no longer be using forensic analysis, I thought that the facility was being closed down and the work would know be done in Wetherby. . Perhaps the lab in Wetherby is bigger, more modern, able to produce results faster, has better staff , better equipment and more capacity for growth. . The extra cost of transport is negated by the savings that will occur in closing the old lab in Euxton. . midas
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Thu 30 Sep 10

barnum says...

This story is very one-sided. There is another large forensic provider that already have contracts with Lancashire police no more than a mile from the FSS Euxton lab. As you would expect, many of the staff from the FSS are now working with the alternative provider. This is more of a scare story put out by the FSS and poorly researched by the reporter.
This story is very one-sided. There is another large forensic provider that already have contracts with Lancashire police no more than a mile from the FSS Euxton lab. As you would expect, many of the staff from the FSS are now working with the alternative provider. This is more of a scare story put out by the FSS and poorly researched by the reporter. barnum
  • Score: 0

11:02am Fri 1 Oct 10

BobM says...

Barnum is correct.

The Forensic Science Service lost business to competitors because it failed to win in tendering process involving Police Forces in the Northwest (and Southwest).

The main winners in the tendering process are all excellent organisations with long and good track-records of providing service to the Courts and the Police. One is opening a new laboratory in Chorley. The police forces in the Northwest will receive good service in the future.

This is was a very poorly researched report. It's one-sided propaganda.
Barnum is correct. The Forensic Science Service lost business to competitors because it failed to win in tendering process involving Police Forces in the Northwest (and Southwest). The main winners in the tendering process are all excellent organisations with long and good track-records of providing service to the Courts and the Police. One is opening a new laboratory in Chorley. The police forces in the Northwest will receive good service in the future. This is was a very poorly researched report. It's one-sided propaganda. BobM
  • Score: 0

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