Anonymous reporting line introduced for practising forensic science professionals

Individuals working in the realm of forensic science can now report concerns about quality standards anonymously via a new reporting line. The new line, launched by the Forensic Science Regulator in association with the charity Crimestoppers, will allow forensic science professionals to raise concerns about service quality to the Forensic Science Regulator without revealing their identity.

Quality failures, such as sample contamination or data manipulation, can mean innocent people are wrongly convicted or offenders escape justice. This line aims to ensure that any serious issues are flagged to the regulator even if an individual doesn’t feel able to report through the whistleblowing procedures in their own organisation.

The service is run by the Crimestoppers charity, whose agents will record the information provided and pass it to the Forensic Science Regulation Unit for investigation.

Forensic Science Regulator Dr Gillian Tully said: “I’m delighted that the reporting line is now live. It’s vital that forensic science provision to the criminal justice system is of the highest quality. I hope this anonymous hotline will provide a route for anyone lacking the confidence to report an issue directly to their own organisation or to my office to come forward such that I can investigate and ensure any necessary improvements are made.”

The hotline also enables individuals to flag issues as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. Individuals can phone 0800 917 0967 or use the online form at crimestoppers-uk.org/forensicregulator to anonymously pass on their concerns.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, added: “Forensic science is an invaluable tool for bringing criminals to justice, but we must ensure it works to the standards that the public expects. I welcome the Forensic Science Regulator’s new anonymous reporting line. It’s important that we have many routes to identify and prevent any issues within the system.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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