Police professional | New £ 6million state-of-the-art forensic lab planned for Scotland

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New £ 6million state-of-the-art forensic lab planned for Scotland

A new toxicology laboratory is to be established in Scotland to provide state-of-the-art testing capabilities to police and prosecutors.

Jul 12, 2021

By Paul Jacques

The Scottish Government is providing more than £ 6million for the new specially designed forensic center which will be able to test a wide range of substances, including drugs and alcohol.

The laboratory, which is expected to be operational by the end of next year, will be managed by the forensic services of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA FS), providing “vital sample testing” to the Crown Office and Procurator. Fiscal Service (COPFS).

The funding enables the transition from the University of Glasgow’s postmortem toxicology forensic services to the SPA FS. Highly specialized staff will be moved to the new unit when it opens, ensuring their competence in this specialized area, the Scottish Government has said.

The funding announcement marks the start of a procurement process that will see the creation of a new facility in the “Central Belt” managed by the SPA FS.

Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown said the new state-of-the-art facility will allow “the continuation of essential post-mortem toxicology services” and ensure that the COPFS continues to meet its obligations to investigate all sudden and unexplained deaths.

He added: “This investment also enables significant operational efficiencies with the new service benefiting from specialized scientific instruments and supplies in a specially designed laboratory. “

SPA Forensic Services Director Tom Nelson said: “We welcome this investment from the Scottish Government to support the operation of the Post-Mortem Toxicology Service by SPA Forensic Services from December 2022.

“This additional service will be provided from a new laboratory with highly qualified staff currently working at the University of Glasgow, supported by colleagues from Forensic Services SPA.

“SPA Forensic Services will work with key partners to provide an accredited post-mortem toxicology service that will meet the needs of the people of Scotland. “

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said the change secures the future of a service that is “vital to the investigation of unexplained deaths”.

She added: “I would like to thank the University of Glasgow for their hard work over the years, and I am delighted that their expert staff are retained during the transition.”


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