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Call for forensic service U-turn

MPs will probe the closure of a borough-based organisation, which has helped solve some of the most high-profile crimes of modern times.

MPs will probe the closure of a borough-based organisation, which has helped solve some of the most high-profile crimes of modern times.

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition, urging the Government to rethink plans to dismantle the Forensic Science Service (FSS).

Last month, ministers announced they were axing the FSS, which employs more than 300 people at Birmingham Business Park.

Protesters want the decision to wind-up the state-owned service debated in the House of Commons.

They need another 80,000 signatures to make this happen, but an inquiry by the Commons’ science committee has already been confirmed.

MPs will look at the impact the closure will have on criminal investigations and what the alternatives are.

Lorely Burt, MP for Solihull, said that staff at the Chelmsley Wood HQ must be supported.

“I met with the FSS chief executive [Dr Simon Bennett] recently and there are concerns about their financial position.

“However, it’s really important that we don’t lose the invaluable skills of the staff and that they’re found jobs elsewhere.”

When the decision to close the service was announced last month, the Government argued it was haemorrhaging money - losing some £2m every month.

They hope that large parts of the operation can be sold-off to the private sector, before it closes in March 2012.

The FSS analyses evidence from some 120,000 cases each year and provided the evidence that was key to the arrest of serial killer Steve Wright.

You can sign the petition against the closure at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/savethefss.

 

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