Minister Sugden visits state of the art Forensic Science facility

Date published: 07 September 2016

Justice Minister, Claire Sugden has acknowledged the vital role of forensic science within the criminal justice sector in Northern Ireland.

Justice Minister visits Forensic Science NI

The Minister was speaking during a visit to Forensic Science Northern Ireland’s (FSNI) state of the art Locard Building at Seapark.  

Claire Sugden said: “The vital role of forensic science within the criminal justice sector should not be underestimated and in Northern Ireland we are fortunate to have the best and most modern forensic facilities.

“The Department of Justice invested £13.9 million in the Locard facility, which was completed in November 2015, and is internationally recognised as setting the standard for the avoidance of contamination and the recovery, identification and interpretation of trace forensic evidence. The addition of this facility has supported FSNI in providing one of the widest ranges of accredited forensic services in Europe in one location.

“Put simply, the work that is done here at Locard ensures that evidence is examined in a timely manner, cases are brought before the courts and criminals are brought to justice.”

The Minister commended the skill of staff, saying: “My visit here today has given me the opportunity to see at first hand the world leading services provided by FSNI.  I commend Stan Brown, Chief Executive of FSNI and his staff for their work and continuing commitment to further improvement in productivity and turnaround times, assisted by the investment under the Transformation Programme.”

During her visit to the Seapark site in Carrickfergus, Minister Sugden also visited the Public Protection Unit.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Locard forensic laboratory was built as part of a wider Transformation Programme  within FSNI, encompassing the building of the laboratory, the introduction of a new IT Case Management System, delivery of business process improvement projects across the Agency and the introduction of DNA 17, a more sensitive and robust DNA profiling system.  FSNI was the first forensic science laboratory in the UK to deliver DNA 17.
  2. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 90526444.  Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 0769 971 5440 and your call will be returned. 

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