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“They think it’s a phone call to God”: inside the looming crisis in British criminal forensics

Research funding cuts, new reporting regulations and differences in each police force's approach are all worrying experts—and raising doubts about the future of justice in Britain

By Jason Murugesu  

Most people going through the criminal justice system expect forensics science to just work, says Emily Bolton. The director of Appeal, a law charity which specialises in miscarriages of justice, calls it “the CSI effect.”

Forensics catch the bad guys on TV and science only gets better year on year, so science must be improving our quality of justice. “They think it’s a phone call to God—a way to find out what really happened,” Bolton says.

Yet our faith in the justice system works much like many organised religions: the more you…

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