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Dozens of jobs at risk from closure of crime lab

In order to save up to £3.5 million Edinburgh’s forensic crime lab is now facing the possibility of closure due to what has been describes as a ‘shake up’. Unfortunately for many staff members the Scottish Police Services Authority has four options for the proposed ‘shake up’ and all of them involve losing employees of which there are currently five hundred and seventy.

Two of the proposed plans which enable the lab to stay open would not allow enough money to be saved in order to meet target however would help retain around sixty members of staff. The third option would require labs in Edinburgh and Aberdeen to be shut down; all work would then be transferred to labs in Dundee where a new centre has just opened its doors or one in Gartcosh where a lab is currently under construction.

The final proposed option means keeping satellite labs in Edinburgh and Aberdeen which would be equipped to provide emergency fingerprint and/or drug analysis but the brunt of the work would be transferred to other labs such as the one in Dundee. This fourth option would help to save many jobs as only around twelve to fifteen would need to be lost however it would mean losing Edinburgh’s ability to carry out DNA processing and also fire debris analysis.

Many people are now worried about the effect of such job cuts and spending cuts will have on the ability to provide an efficient service however the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) is very confident that this will not happen as they have improved processes and made new IT available to help strike a good and effective balance.

George Foulkes, Lothian’s Labour MSP, has said that it is vital that “Edinburgh maintains all the services it has to make sure justice is quickly and effectively done.”

Edinburgh taxi driver Adam Smith said the move called the move “disgraceful and shameful.”

There are many different options to be considered and many of the staff within the labs will be waiting with bated breath over what decision will be made. A six week consultation period will now take place in order for all four options to be considered carefully and the best decision reached.

In order to introduce IT two million pounds could be made however this will come at a price of losing forty nine jobs. Whatever the decision it is likely to be a difficult one.