We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:
1. Since the closure of the FSS who now has responsibility for storing archive forensic material in criminal cases - Forensic Archive. Is it the Private Provider or is it the client police force?
2. What new revenue streams have been allocated to police forces to enable them to take on the responsibility of storing Forensic Archive?
3. What facilities have been made available to police forces to enable them to store forensic archives?
4. Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, how many have requested more funding from central government to enable forensic archiving?
5. Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales how many have a stated plan on how they will provide a forensic archiving service?
We released the following information on 29 June 2012
There has never been a comprehensive archive of forensic case material. For historical reasons, Forensic Science Service (FSS) held the largest archive of such material. Following the closure of FSS, the Home Office will continue to support the FSS archive in the interests of the Criminal Justice System.
1. There has been no change in the responsibility for case material. Responsibility lies with the forces to make appropriate provisions in line with the relevant standards and guidance. Forces may enter into arrangements with forensic service providers to archive material on their behalf, subject to the providers’ contractual responsibilities.
2. There have been no changes in the funding arrangements for police forces for this purpose.
3. No additional facilities have been requested or provided for archiving of forensic materials.
4. No police forces have requested additional funding for this purpose.
5. Arrangements for case materials are a matter for police forces to manage locally. The Home Office does not hold information on how individual forces manage their case materials. Guidance on handling of criminal evidence and case materials is set out in the National Police Improvement Agency document “Management of Police Information”, which is available at www.npia.police.uk/en/15088.htm .