Spending cuts could banjax the justice system in England & Wales, and give crime writers a field day.
The government, desperate to find ways to save money, is mothballing the forensic archives and putting the responsibility on individual police forces to file their own evidence for the future. Experts reckon this could put a spanner in the works for innocent prisoners, cold cases and current investigations.
How could you use this, as a crime writer, to spark off a plot, or make a crisis in the story, or furnish the book with a juicy sub-plot?
The Archive of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in England and Wales holds more than 1.7m case files – some more than 30 years old.
The records are regularly used to investigate unsolved crimes, as well as for appeals against unsafe convictions.
But in March, the government closed the FSS from taking on more material, arguing that it had been losing money.
Now, each of the 43 police forces across England and Wales must arrange its own storage of future forensic records.
and see what your festering imagination throws up from your subconscious. Any ideas, off the cuff?
- Warning as forensic archive shuts (bbc.co.uk)
- Calling all amateur sleuths: hi-tech forensic gadgets up for auction (guardian.co.uk)
- English police face drastic cuts (upi.com)