In the latest edition of the Forensic Science Regulator’s Newsletter Issue 30, Dr Tully comments:
‘forensic scientists are still being called to court to give evidence on the basis of interim or abbreviated reports that do not comply with the Criminal Procedure Rules, yet this lack of compliance is not being challenged by the prosecution, defence or judges.’
The gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down by the Forensic Regulator.
KBC has been commenting on our experience of Streamlined Forensic Reporting since it was introduced in 2012. You will find earlier news articles we have written on this website (HERE and HERE), or you may have attended one of our talks. Here is a reminder of some of the key issues to consider when presented with a Streamlined Forensic Report (SFR) Stage 1:
- Do you know how much work had been undertaken in generating the SFR stage 1 report and has it been prepared by a forensic expert? Is it a test result generated by an administrator with no input from a forensic expert and hence without any evidential context, or is it a summary of the work of the prosecution forensic expert? Across the various forensic disciplines, there is no consistency as to the stage at which an SFR Stage 1 is produced.
- An SFR Stage 1 report cannot be presented as evidence at trial unless your client agrees it.
- The strength of SFR1 findings can reduce following further work.
- SFR1 DNA match statistics can appear to be very persuasive but may not be the whole story. Even a full DNA profile match can be compelling evidence in one case and evidentially valueless in the next.
If you have queries with respect to information in an SFR Stage 1 report, please call us to see if we can help. We can seek access to the underlying information and, with your client’s account, we can ascertain the evidential value of the information contained in the SFR1 Stage 1 report.
Our May 2019 newsletter highlights yet another SFR1 issue. You can read it HERE.