- Thousands of convictions, including rapes and murders, could be overturned
- It comes amid allegations of data manipulation at a Manchester forensics lab
- Two men have been arrested over claims hundreds of cases were mishandled
- Previously thought 484 affected but 6,000 toxicology samples could be at risk
Thousands of convictions, including rapes and murders, could be overturned amid allegations of data manipulation at a forensics lab.
It was previously thought that 484 cases were affected, but a police probe has found more than 6,000 toxicology samples could be at risk.
The investigation is focused on Randox Testing Services (RTS), a laboratory used by police forces across the UK to analyse samples used in prosecutions.
Two employees at the Manchester-based laboratory were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice earlier this year.
The men, aged 31 and 47, were later bailed.
Thousands of convictions, including rapes and murders, could be overturned amid allegations of data manipulation at a forensics lab (not pictured, file photo)
A team of forensic experts are identifying any live cases which require retesting and past cases where convictions could be unsafe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said.
‘The majority of cases affected are Road Traffic Act offences such as drug driving.
‘However, RTS provided toxicology tests for other offences including rape, assault and murder so it is possible these cases could be affected,’ a spokesman added.
Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan, NPCC forensic expert, warned that the number of affected samples could change again as the investigation continues.
He said: ‘This is a serious breach of the very rigorous professional standards set by the Forensic Science Regulator for staff and organisations working in this critical field.