Reprieve for forensic lab but future remains in doubt

Edinburgh's police forensic laboratory is to stay open - but faces another review in just 18 months.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill announced both the Edinburgh and Aberdeen labs would be retained, but downgraded, with some work being transferred to Glasgow and Dundee.

However, he said the Howdenhall lab would keep the capacity to carry out urgent DNA analysis, against the recommendations of the review by the Scottish Police Services Authority.

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The current 35 scientific and fingerprint staff in Edinburgh will be reduced to 20.

And because of the possible shake-up of Scotland's police forces, Mr MacAskill said another review would take place in 18 months.

Lothians Labour MSP George Foulkes labelled the announcement a "shabby compromise" and said the new review meant the uncertainty over the lab's future remained.