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Seminar: Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone: The problems with retaining evidence

(Posted on 12/01/21)

Seminar: Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone: The problems with retaining evidence

Damian Allain and Professor Carole McCartney, Northumbria University will provide a presentation on Evidence Retention on Wednesday 20th January 5-6pm (GMT).



Both post-conviction review of suspected miscarriages of justice, and the re-investigation of ‘cold cases’, demand that the police have retrieved, and stored evidential files and materials, securely, safely, with integrity and with a clear chain of custody. If materials are not retained and stored correctly, then such re-investigations are rendered impossible and justice unattainable. Retention is especially critical in respect of physical materials that could be subject to forensic examination.

This talk will detail the Evidence Retention Project undertaken by Inside Justice, which has interrogated the policies and practices of police forces nationally in respect of their retention regimes, both on paper and in practice. The project has discovered a worrying picture of inconsistency, with confusion over what should be retained, and how. This is compounded by ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Forensic Archive Ltd. The project has also made recommendations about reforms necessary to address this neglected but vital area of concern.

Bio: Damian Allain, the Head of Casework at Inside Justice, is a former New Scotland Yard senior detective who specialised during his career in homicide investigation and serious and organised crime.  

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