Large scale investigation launched into forensic company who provide drug and alcohol testing to UK police forces and child services sector underway.
Employees at Randox Testing Services (RTS) who describe themselves as ‘a market leader in the Forensic Toxicology and Drug and Alcohol Testing industry’ are currently under investigation by Greater Manchester Police after suspicion that hundreds of urine, hair and blood sample test data may have been manipulated and tampered with at their laboratory in Manchester.
Randox Testing Services have provided forensic services to police forces throughout the UK, they also provide forensic services in family law cases as well as to companies such as Gloucestershire City Council, abp Food Group, Ryanair, KKLaw and Lagan Construction Group.
Two men who worked for Randox Testing Services at their laboratory in Manchester have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and released on bail until March 6th 2017 while enquiries continue.
Randox Testing Services Response to Investigation
RTS have published a statement on their web site addressing the issue and have stated:
- A rogue analyst(s) has manipulated some data associated with test results
- They believe that anywhere between 50 to 484 samples may have been affected
- No physical tempering has been made to any actual sample; and
- They are supporting all ongoing activities by the Police and other authorities
The company totally refute the claim that samples were ‘fixed‘, however they do admit that a ‘deception ‘ was uncovered during an internal investigation. They also state that the manipulation will not affect drink driving cases as alcohol analysis in drink driving cases is not conducted at their laboratory in Manchester.
The deception uncovered at RTS, who are an approved Home Office supplier where scientists conduct analysis on samples of blood, saliva and hair for traces of drugs & alcohol on behalf of police forces throughout the UK, as well as family courts who make decisions about custody & adoption cases could have resulted in families being torn apart, innocent people being convicted of criminal offences and children being placed into care.
The outcome of investigations into this matter could lead to a crisis in the criminal justice system with hundreds of prosecutions being overturned or thrown out of court, appeals being made and compensation claims that could run into millions.
The motivation behind the alleged ‘deception ‘ discovered is currently unknown, however it could be possible that it was carried out in order to meet performance targets.
Former police leader, Lord Paddick, the Lib Dems’ spokesman on home affairs stated: ‘Whenever you farm out forensic testing to private companies, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure quality control.’
Guidance Issued to Police Forces
The police Forensic Science Service and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) provided guidance to police forces to help them review cases in order to determine if any miscarriage of justice has taken place.
Authorities will contact individuals whose criminal or civil cases may have been wrongly decided due to possible inaccurate test results provided to the courts by the Manchester based laboratory.
Investigations into this matter continue.