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Manipulation of toxicology tests

MANIPULATION OF TOXICOLOGY TESTS

The Scottish Government has prepared questions and answers in relation to the potential manipulation of toxicology tests in family cases.  Any person who considers their case may have been affected should seek their own legal advice.

Q.        How many criminal cases are affected?

A.        We are not aware of any criminal cases in Scotland being affected.

The provision of forensic services in Scotland is different from England and Wales. Scottish Police Authority Forensic Services provides a unique crime scene to court model for the Scottish criminal justice system and they do not use external contractors on a regular basis although there may be occasions when the type of work requires them to use a specialist external contractor such as, for example, in relation to specialist soils analysis. The vast majority of their testing is carried out in-house and they work closely with the accreditation body, UKAS, to provide on-going independent assessment of many of the processes and procedures used within SPA Forensic Services.

Q.        How many family cases might be affected in Scotland?

A.        Initial work with the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration suggest that few cases in Scotland might be affected – under 100.

Q.        What types of testing may be affected?

A.         The toxicology tests involved are used to detect the presence of drugs and in some cases alcohol in an individual’s hair, blood or urine.

Q.        Which tests are affected?

A.        Results from all tests carried out by Trimega Laboratories Ltd between 2010 and 2014 are currently being treated as potentially unreliable and most drug tests from Randox Testing Services between 2013 and 2017 are being treated as potentially unreliable.

Q.        I think my family case may have been affected?

A.        Any person who considers their case may have been affected should seek their own legal advice.

Q.        Has a special court form been created for use in Scotland?

A.        It has not been necessary to create a separate court form in Scotland as the normal court rules will apply. As indicated above, any person who considers their case may have been affected should seek their own legal advice.