Home Office commits to public sector future for forensic science

Prospect, the union for the UK’s scientists, has welcomed the Home Office announcement that the Forensic Science Service (FSS) is to remain in the public sector as a government-owned company (GovCo).

Prospect general secretary, Paul Noon, said the decision marked the end of the immediate threat of government plans to privatise a highly effective public service.

Noon said: “Today’s announcement is recognition of the vital importance of the Forensic Science Service to the UK’s criminal justice system and of the real fear, [expressed by] our members and other stakeholders, that a privatised FSS would risk a loss of impartiality. This is not an organisation that can be allowed to crumble under the pressure of shareholder demands and therefore needs to be maintained within a public sector framework.

“Our members are delighted that, after two years of fierce campaigning against privatisation, they have secured assurances that the service has at least two years stability as a GovCo before any further review of its future takes place,” he said.

More than 1,300 employees work as scientists and other specialist staff in the FSS.

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