>> 3 September 2010

Aberdeenshire Council's SNP Group has given its backing to the campaign to retain the Scottish Police Services Authority's (SPSA) forensic laboratory in Aberdeen.

Writing on behalf of the Group to the SPSA's Director, Tom Nelson, Group Leader Cllr Joanna Strathdee (Huntly, Strathbogie & Howe of Alford) said:

"A full forensic service in Aberdeen is essential in the fight against crime and any dilution of such services would be damaging to the justice system."

She continued:

"I have therefore written to Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill outlining our support for the retention of the Aberdeen lab."

Grampian Police Joint Board member and former police officer Cllr Allan Hendry (Mid-Formartine) has consistently backed retaining the forensic lab in Aberdeen. He said:

"Our Group feel very strongly that any diminution of services in the city would have a detrimental effect on the justice system.

"The fact is that these proposed savings don't not stack up. £300,000 over 5 years is mentioned but this takes no account of staff relocation or transfers. The best long term solution for Aberdeen and the North-east, and indeed the SPSA, is the retention of Aberdeen lab with the addition of an Evidence Based Solution IT system and we have written to our MSP's indicating our support for this."

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