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Police forces are failing to meet the official standards for forensic science, making miscarriages of justice inevitable, the government’s forensic regulator has said.

In her annual report, Gillian Tully highlighted her growing concerns about the failure of some forensic firms used by the police to meet basic quality standards. It means innocent people could be wrongly convicted and offenders escaping justice.

The routine outsourcing of criminal forensic work to unaccredited laboratories worries Tully, with some not subject to independent oversight.

She told the Guardian that without urgent action there would inevitably be miscarriages of justice, including in cases involving murder, rape and child abuse.

“If you’re not finding indecent images of children on someone’s phone when you should be, that’s a miscarriage of justice as much as if someone was wrongly convicted of a crime,” Tully said.

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