Chorley MP: Forensic service closure will create 'criminals' charter'

The FSS announced it is to reorganise with the site closing by early 2011.

Around 200 jobs are set to be lost in Chorley at The Forensic Science Service, it was confirmed today.

There has been a four-month consultation on plans to close seven offices including the complex at Washington Hall, Euxton.

FSS chief executive Dr Simon Bennett said the changes were needed to adapt to the changing market and boost the firm’s efficiency.

The company was formed from the previously Government-run forensic science services in 2005. It now has to compete with private firms for police work.

The Chorley laboratory serves police forces throughout the North West covering some of the highest criminal activity areas such as Manchester and Liverpool.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle accused FSS bosses of signing a ‘criminals charter’ in announcing the closure Mr Hoyle said the loss of 200 highly skilled jobs will have a major impact on the ability to solve crimes in addition to damaging the skills base in Lancashire.

He said: “I am appalled by the decision.

“By closing the Chorley site you will lose the rapid response which can be provided to police forces throughout the North West. “There are many examples where time is crucial to solving a crime.”

Prospect union branch secretary Helen Kenny, said: “The cuts are driven by claims that the workload has diminished, which we don’t accept, no-one has seen the crime rate go down.”

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