Currently operating at a loss of around £2 million each month, the government has decided to wind down its forensics agency by March 2012.
The Forensic Science Service has been fully government owned since December 2005, and has analysed and interpreted crime scene evidence for the criminal justice system since 1999.
But the market has drastically reduced in this time, and - set out in a written ministerial statement published today - the service could run out of money as early as January 2011.
Future of forensics
The government will work with the Association of Chief Police Officers to ensure that effective forensics continue to be provided through private sector companies.
It is hoped that the police will be able to deal with serious crimes quicker and more efficiently by being able to use services from a more competitive private sector market.