Here’s a story from the Grauniad about privatised forensics lab LGC getting it Very Wrong Indeed.
Now here’s another.
LGC said one of its staff members made a “typographical error” while inputting code, leading Scotland Yard to spend more than a year trying to trace a non-existent suspect. It was confirmed last month, when LGC carried out a review, that the partial DNA profile belonged to a scientist involved in the case.
“Having made further checks, LGC identified the partial profile as matching that of a Metropolitan police scientist who was involved in the original investigation of Mr Williams’ home,” a LGC spokeswoman said
I think what they mean is that the Met police guy’s DNA was taken in order to eliminate him from the inquiry, running the profiles of the police who entered the place against the target samples in order to isolate anything interesting and also to confirm as a positive control that the analysis was indeed working. Then somebody fatfingered, with the result that the elimination profile used wasn’t actually the right sequence and therefore didn’t match. And what a case, too.
Only Theresa May and Francis Maude cooperating could have thought privatising forensics was a good idea. Mind you, who on earth thought retyping DNA hashes by hand was a good idea?