Gary Pugh appointed Forensic Science Regulator for England and Wales

The Home Secretary has appointed Gary Pugh OBE as the new Forensic Science Regulator.

Mr Pugh will begin on 16 May 2021 and carry out the role for three years, taking over from the Interim Regulator Rupert Shute.

The Regulator ensures that the provision of forensic science services across the Criminal Justice System complies with an appropriately high standard of scientific quality and is carried out with objectivity and impartiality.

Responsibilities of the Forensic Science Regulator include:

  • establishing, and monitoring compliance with, quality standards in the provision of forensic science services to the police service and the wider Criminal Justice System (CJS)

  • ensuring, where applicable, the accreditation of those supplying forensic science services to the police, including in-house police services and forensic suppliers to the wider CJS

  • setting and monitoring compliance with, quality standards applying to national forensic science intelligence databases

  • providing advice to Ministers, CJS organisations, suppliers and others as seems appropriate, on matters related to quality standards in forensic science

  • dealing with complaints from stakeholders and members of the public in relation to quality standards in the provision of forensic science services.

Mr Pugh, a former Director of Forensic Services in the Metropolitan Police Service, is a forensic scientist of over 40 years, with experience of leading national governance boards and operations.

The new Forensic Science Regulator Act 2021 is intended to provide the Regulator with statutory powers.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Ensuring that the UK remains at the cutting edge of forensic investigation is vital and Gary Pugh brings a wealth of experience to the role of Forensic Science Regulator.

Working for many years at the top of his field, he will ensure police are working to the very highest scientific standards when investigating crimes, pursuing criminals and seeking justice for victims.

So much progress has been made in implementing quality standards, but science is constantly evolving, and the Forensic Science Regulator plays a vital role in setting those standards.

Gary Pugh said:

I am delighted to be appointed to the post of Forensic Science Regulator.

I look forward to building on the solid work of my predecessors and working with the team that support my role to ensure the effective operation of forensic quality standards.

The Royal Assent for the Forensic Science Regulator Bill will put my role on a statutory footing recognising the importance of forensic quality standards and their critical contribution to delivering justice.

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