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Forensics Scandal

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Forensics Scandal

Post by Baronstu on 15.10.17 14:35

[size=34]Forensics scandal now hits TEN THOUSAND cases: Rogue scientists may have tampered with blood tests in suspect cases including murder and rape[/size]

  • Experts re-examine blood tests that may have been doctored at Randox Testing Services in Manchester

  • Full extent of scandal is far greater than 484 cases claimed by police in February 

  • It could take up to five years for all of the falsified data to be sifted through 


In the Mail today. If this has happened, who knows where else or what else was messed with.

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Forensic test fails,Manchester?

Post by willowthewisp on 15.10.17 16:41

Hi Baronstu,thanks for the link.
there is a vast difference from making a mistake in Forensic Analysis,to deliberately deception,now quite how you come to separate a mistake from deception would require what you want to find out about the DNA,LCI found at a scene or what you wish to determine?
In the article it states"disaffected Employees"may not have tampered with the samples?
but surely if you put the wrong sample into a wrong place,that contain a different procedure,it is still a mistake affecting a human beings test results,rightly or wrongly?

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Randox forensics inquiry: Police suspend drug-test contracts

Post by Doug D on 27.11.17 21:15

I'm sure there was an earlier post about the 10,000 tests, but I can't find it.


Randox forensics inquiry: Police suspend drug-test contracts
 
·       1 hour ago
 
·       From the section Manchester
 
·       Police have suspended all contracts with a drug-testing company amid allegations of data manipulation.
 
Randox Testing Services (RTS) in Manchester was investigated after two scientists were arrested on suspicion of tampering with data.
The National Police Chiefs' Council say RTS is no longer working for them.
Police minister Nick Hurd said the firm was "co-operating" in retesting forensic samples after the probe led to a review of more than 10,000 cases.

'Indentify priority cases'

The council said forensic tests across 42 police forces, including rapes and murders, were being considered possibly unreliable and needed re-examining.
Mr Hurd told MPs: "The police have suspended all contracts as I understand it with Randox.
"Randox are co-operating with us fully on the priority, which is to identify the priority cases [and] get the retesting done as quickly as possible."
 
He also said the cases of alleged wrongdoing could go back to 2010.
Five people have also been interviewed under caution by Greater Manchester Police over the alleged manipulation by individuals working at an RTS site.
The alleged misconduct emerged earlier this year when a data anomaly in a drug-driving case was reported to RTS.
A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman said: "I can confirm that Randox are not doing any work for the police at this time."
 
Potential data manipulation at a separate facility, Trimega Laboratories, is also being investigated.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott claimed the "scandal" "flowed directly" from the decision to privatise the industry.

Mr Hurd accused Ms Abbott of "trying to squeeze" the issue into a Labour narrative of "public good, private bad".
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-42144231
 
…………………………………..
 
   
I’m sure this wasn’t what Diane Abbott was thinking about, because the FSS was such a success (!), McCann, Lawrence, to name just two, (and could be more easily controlled by the government?)

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by sharonl on 27.11.17 22:06


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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Libra on 28.11.17 10:35

The link doesn't work - could the article have been whooshed I wonder

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Libra on 28.11.17 11:48

Thanks Bobbin these links are fine

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:02

20th December 2007

Verdict raises DNA evidence doubt

By Michael Buchanan
BBC News

Omagh bomb
29 people were killed when the Omagh bomb exploded in 1998
The case against Sean Hoey, who has been cleared of 56 charges including the murders of 29 people in the Omagh bomb attack, was essentially built on forensic evidence - in particular DNA.

The Forensic Science Service (FSS), told Mr Justice Weir they had found the defendant's DNA on items relating not just to the Omagh bombing but several other bomb scenes as well.

The FSS claimed to have found Mr Hoey's DNA using a technique they had developed themselves, called Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA.

It allows DNA profiles to be uncovered even when there is only a tiny amount of DNA present, sometimes as small as a millionth the size of a grain of salt.

The FSS, a government-owned for-profit company that is Britain's largest forensics provider, began routinely using LCN testing in casework in 1999, and has said it was used to help convict - among others - the killers of the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh and the British backpacker Peter Falconio.

The FSS say they have used the technique about 21,000 times.

Despite that, there have been constant doubts within the scientific community about the merits of LCN testing, and Sean Hoey's defence team decided to attack the method, the science behind it and the conclusions that can be drawn from the results.

Doubts in court

For help, they turned to Professor Dan Krane, a DNA expert from Ohio.

Professor Dan Krane
Professor Dan Krane gave expert scientific evidence for the defence

"Low Copy Number tests are much more prone to flexible interpretation, than with the conventional tests.

"Because of its great sensitivity, there are much greater concerns about the persistence of DNA and its ability to be transferred from one article to another.

"It's just too easy for contamination to occur, or for DNA to have become associated with an article through very innocent, very old contact."

LCN DNA testing has been validated only by the FSS's own scientists, rather than by outside experts, and the defence's continual questioning of the method was aided by a test result from a failed bomb explosion in Lisburn, in April 1998, that Sean Hoey was also charged with.

When the defused device was analysed using the FSS's technique, the strongest initial DNA profile was found to be that of a teenage boy from Nottinghamshire.


The results could be ambiguous
Sheila Willis
Forensic scientist

In an attempt to bolster their case, the prosecution called Peter Gill, one of the inventors of the LCN technique. But under cross examination he said some of the results put forward by the prosecution were "valueless", and that LCN was a complex area in which there were "shades of grey".

That led Mr Justice Weir to say: "When this evidence is presented on behalf of the prosecution, no-one talks about it in terms of shades of grey. It's put forward as evidence I can rely on."

Further questions

Thursday's verdict will throw up considerable questions over the merits of LCN testing and will bolster the arguments of those who have always held reservations about the technique.

Paul Debenham, LGC Forensics
Paul Debenham from LGC Forensics has developed an alternative

Sheila Willis, head of the Irish Republic's Forensic Science Laboratory, told the BBC that they did not use LCN because "the results could be ambiguous".

Britain's second largest forensic company, LGC Forensics, have also long harboured doubts about the LCN method.

The company's head of research and development, Paul Debenham, told the BBC they had devised their own method for analysing small amounts of DNA, which he says, "not only establishes as many degrees of information as you can achieve from the Low Copy Number methodology, but in fact it has got some reduced degrees of complication that can affect some of these very high sensitivity analyses".

LGC's technique has also not been validated by outside experts - they are planning to have it scrutinised next year. But it undoubtedly raised further questions about the merits of LCN testing, questions that have allowed Sean Hoey to walk away Belfast Crown Court a free man.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7154189.stm



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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:06

21st February 2007

Police review criminal DNA cases

New DNA techniques have become available since 2001

Hundreds of criminal cases are to be reviewed because vital DNA samples may have been missed by the Forensic Science Service.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has written to the 43 chief constables in England and Wales about cases that may need re-investigating.

Those under review fall within a five-year period between 2000 and 2005.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said it was important to maintain the quality of evidence.

A Home Office spokesperson said "a minimal amount" of cases were involved and that the situation would not have led to anyone being wrongly convicted.

'Small percentage'

Instead the cases involved situations where there was "no result" in DNA tests, which would have meant that potentially a guilty person was not convicted.

The cases would specifically involve Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA samples which involve tiny traces of DNA that have only been detectable with new techniques available since 2001.

The review relates to cases where the FSS analysed tiny samples of blood or saliva for a DNA profile, only to get a negative result when detectives had expected otherwise.

DNA evidence became traceable in very small traces of bodily fluids from 2000 following advances in testing techniques.

The FSS was apparently applying the new LCN technique in a different way, meaning its scientists may have missed DNA evidence that other private forensic laboratories could have identified.

The problem was highlighted by Acpo in November and the Home Office ordered the review when it was informed of the situation.

Acpo is now waiting to hear from police forces in England and Wales about any cases which may need revisiting - a spokesman said it expected a "prompt response".

A joint statement issued by the Home Office and Acpo said: "Towards the end of 2006 we become aware that a small percentage of DNA samples may need to be re-examined as a result of differences in the way forensic suppliers were using new techniques to analyse forensic material between 2000 and 2005.

"Acpo is very close to completing that work and has found no evidence that we should be concerned about standards being used today."

'Silver bullet'

Shadow home secretary Mr Davis expressed concerns over a potential "fundamental failure".

He told BBC News 24: "DNA evidence is almost viewed as a silver bullet point by this government.

"Certainly it's insisting on increasing the DNA database, without the legal backing for it and so on, so it thinks DNA's very important, and rightly so, it is very important.

"Juries tend to believe it almost without argument. Therefore it's very important to keep the quality of that evidence up."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: "Given that the government is asking us to rely so heavily on DNA technology to detect crime, it is extraordinary that the necessary methods are not being deployed to use it to its greatest potential."

The FSS was involved with a controversy last year over "missed" clues in the Damilola Taylor murder investigation.

There were two blood spots and clothing fibres apparently not detected in the investigation at the time of the schoolboy's death.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6381969.stm

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by nglfi on 28.11.17 12:10

It's not clear what suddenly happened in 2005 to make methods more reliable and therefore not worthy of investigation. What 'bad luck'.

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:11

The Home Office

Damilola Taylor: An independent review of forensic examination of evidence by the Forensic Science Service

http://netk.net.au/Damilola/Damilola2007.pdf

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:24

@nglfi wrote:It's not clear what suddenly happened in 2005 to make methods more reliable and therefore not worthy of investigation.  What 'bad luck'.
What an extraordinary company the comparatively short lived Forensic Science Service was - a for profit company owned by the British government to boot.

Despite a fanfare heralding revolutionary new scientific methods for DNA profiling, during it's lifespan, it operated under a cloud of doubt - if not suspicion.  It was finally officially closed down in December 2010, citing monthly losses of approximately £2,000,000 (that's two million quid) as their reason.

Makes yer wonder don't it?

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:32

@Doug D wrote:I'm sure there was an earlier post about the 10,000 tests, but I can't find it.
There was a report on the same scandal (only fewer cases) back in February 2017..

Rogue forensic workers feared to have doctored the results of 500 lab tests - throwing hundreds of court cases into doubt


Martin Evans,  Crime Correspondent  

19 February 2017 • 7:19pm
 
Almost 500 criminal investigations are being reviewed after test results at a forensics lab were allegedly tampered with by two "rogue" scientists.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice after a major security breach was uncovered at the Randox Testing Services (RTS) lab in Manchester.

The laboratory, which carries out toxicology tests for police forces across the country, has identified a total of 484 cases which may have been compromised.

Much of the work carried out at the laboratory involves the analysis of blood samples of people arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs.

The security breach raises the prospect that hundreds of people could have the victims of miscarriages of justice and the Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service have been made aware of the case.

The laboratory also carries out a small number of toxicology tests in pathology cases, to establish if drugs played a part in a person’s death, but it is not clear if any of those tests are among those affected.

One of the two men arrested by Greater Manchester Police has been dismissed by the company, but it is not clear what the alleged motive may have been.

It is understood that while samples themselves were not tampered with, the data against which they were measured was manipulated, meaning the accuracy of the tests could not be guaranteed.

Detectives are now working to establish if the alleged manipulation was the result of staff trying to cut corners or whether the motive was more malicious.

A source at the company said the staff did not have to meet performance targets in relation to the tests, so it was unlikely they were trying to improve their own performance through data manipulation.

A spokesman for RTS said the issue came to light when an "anomaly" was spotted in the data in January and an internal investigation was launched immediately.

The police were then called in and two members of staff, aged 47 and 31, who had worked at RTS for three years, were arrested.

Dorset Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, who is the National Police Chief’s Council lead for forensic science, said: "We have been made aware of a quality failure with Randox Testing Services (RTS) which is currently being investigated and a criminal inquiry has been launched by Greater Manchester Police.

"Randox has provided each force with a list of cases that could have been affected. Working in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have provided guidance to forces so they are able to review each case to determine if compromised data played a part in prosecution and the CPS will then take appropriate action in any cases identified."

A spokesman for GMP confirmed it had been asked to investigate "forensic results issued by Randox Testing Services".
The spokesman added: "Randox Testing Services have provided forensic services to police forces, including GMP, for the past two years. The organisation is being fully co-operative (with) the investigation."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/19/rogue-forensic-workers-feared-have-doctored-results-500-lab/

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Re: Forensics Scandal

Post by Verdi on 28.11.17 12:39

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