Issue with evidential drug-driving samples is a cause for concern


The NPCC has issued a statement on issues with evidential drug-driving samples analysed by Synlab Laboratory Services Limited. In some cases, individuals have been convicted on evidence that is no longer reliable.

Commenting on the issue, the APCC’s Lead on Forensics Darryl Preston said: “PCCs have been kept regularly updated since problems with some Synlab toxicology samples first came to light. We are satisfied policing has worked closely with the CPS to measure and mitigate the impact of this issue.

“Nevertheless, road safety is a key priority for many PCCs, and forensics play a key role in identifying drink- and drug-driving offenders. That anyone who was driving under the influence of drink or drugs may have a conviction quashed, or that someone has been wrongfully convicted, is a cause for concern. Speaking on behalf of victims, we would be especially concerned if a driver who caused a death or serious injury on our roads was allowed to walk free because vital forensic evidence was no longer valid. We note, thankfully, that no such case has yet come to light.

“Longer term, this episode has shone a light on the need to ensure the very highest standards of forensic science provision to the criminal justice system and that policing, through the Forensic Capability Network, must access efficient and reliable forensics services providers to ensure justice can be served.”


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