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Forensic Services

Forensic Services SPA deliver world-leading, high-quality and value-for-money forensic services to meet the needs of our criminal justice partners and the expectations of the Scottish public.

Our 600 highly-trained and skilled scientists and staff operate from five main laboratory sites in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh with Scene Examination teams based throughout Scotland. The services we offer include: Biology; DNA; Chemistry and Documents; Drugs; Toxicology; Fingerprint Comparison; Finger Mark Enhancement; Firearms; Imaging and Multimedia Services; Post Mortem Toxicology; and Scene Examination.

The unique Forensic Services SPA crime scene-to-court model provides robust support to the delivery of justice. A ‘sterile corridor’ is also in place between Forensic Services SPA and Police Scotland – which ensures impartiality and independence – key values in delivering forensic services throughout the criminal justice system.

The majority of the work of Forensic Services SPA has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for more than 20 years – this provides third-party quality assurance on the technical and managerial standards in place. The Director of Forensic Services SPA reports to the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority. The SPA Forensic Services Committee was established in October 2018 by the Scottish Police Authority to provide oversight and scrutiny the work of Forensic Services and the committee’s meetings are open to the public.

Forensic Services Strategy

The purpose of our Forensic Strategy is to provide excellent, innovative forensic services to support justice in Scotland and keep our communities safe and protected – in line with the Scottish Government’s Justice Outcomes and the strategic aims of Police Scotland and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service.

Scottish Biometrics Commissioner's Code Of Practice

All members of SPA Forensic Services are required to comply with the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner’s Code of Practice which is supported by a complaints procedure. Further details are available at the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner’s website.