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.