PRESS RELEASE : PFS Ltd formed to combine over 250 years experience in Forensic Science

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Press Release 

PFS Ltd:

New forensic science company draws on over 250 years’ experience

London, 2 April 2012 … With over 250 years experience between them, today sees 11 internationally renowned forensic scientists join forces to launch Principal Forensic Services Limited (PFS Ltd.) – estimated to be one of the most concentrated pools of forensic science talent operating in the UK today.

PFS Ltd. will provide impartial forensic science consultancy, training, advice and casework capability to defence, prosecution and regulatory bodies. It will also work with the UK criminal justice system to drive the development of nationally recognised standards for the UK forensic science market.

The PFS Ltd. Directors were all leading scientists at the recently closed Forensic Science Service (FSS) providing expert analysis in a catalogue of major national and international criminal investigations including: the PIRA campaign 1989-1993; the murder of Rhys Jones; the identification of Tsar Nicholas II and his family; the murder of PC Dunne; the appeal of James Hanratty and the disappearance of UK backpacker Peter Falconio. PFS will continue to provide unbiased and robust expert testimony worldwide.

The specialist services available include DNA, Body fluids, Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA), Firearms, Gunshot Residue (GSR), Toxicology, Marks and Traces (e.g. footwear, toolmarks, paint and glass) and Quality Review.

With the UK’s forensic science market facing significant challenges and changes as a result of the closure of the FSS, the launch of PFS Ltd. ensures that these skills are maintained for use across the UK’s criminal justice system. In addition, it offers the depth and breadth of experience required to robustly take on the review of casework along with the ability to review and advise on any quality issues that may arise in the future.

Mark Mastaglio, one of the Directors of PFS Ltd., comments: ‘With our passion for forensic science, it seemed natural to bring together our combined skills under the umbrella of PFS Ltd. rather than allowing our combined experience to disperse across an increasingly fragmented market place.’

‘One of our strengths is that we bring together our skills to assess multi-disciplinary issues that may arise in a case as well as having the experience required to peer review each other’s work for court room purposes.’

The PFS Ltd. team consists of: Julie Allard, David Baldwin, Mike Barber, Gillian Leak, Mark Mastaglio, Sue Pope, Mike Scott-Ham, Angela Shaw, Kevin Sullivan, Dr Gillian Tully and Dr Jonathan Whittaker.

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • Principal Forensic Services Ltd. is an independent partnership of world-leading forensic scientists covering each of the main forensic science disciplines. It offers impartial consultancy, training, advice and casework capability to both the defence, prosecution and regulatory bodies in the UK as well as abroad.
  • The Directors of PFS Ltd have also been involved in the following investigations: the “Unibomber” investigation, the murder of Jill Dando, the  murder by Kenneth Noyes, the HMS Astute murder and attempted murders, the unmasking of bogus defence “expert” Godwin Onubogu.
  • Background to the forensic science market:
    • According to National Police Improvement Agency figures, police budgets attributed to forensic science providers has shrunk from £175 million in 2008/09 to £138 million by 2010/11. With increased pressure on police budgets, following the Government’s spending review; estimates for the police budgets allocated in 2011/12 are as low as £80 million.
    •  It is thought that all forensic science providers have seen a reduction in the number of submissions received from police forces across the UK as a result of budget pressures.
    • The introduction of competitive tender processes has led to the fragmentation of different casework disciplines across multiple forensic science providers rather than allowing a holistic case review.
    • The Forensic Science Service (FSS) was the UK’s largest forensic science provider supporting over 120,000 cases per year and employing approximately 1300 forensic scientists. Following the government’s decision to progressively wind down the FSS, it officially ceased operations at the end of March 2012.
    • It is estimated that only 10-20% of former FSS scientists have remained in the industry leading to a massive reduction in the forensic science skills available in the UK when compared to the rest of the world.

For more information, contact:

Mark Mastaglio, Director of Principal Forensic Services Ltd.

Mobile: 07941 116210

Lisa Palmer, PR & Communications Consultant

E-mail: lisapalmer5@hotmail.com

Mobile: 07985 117170