An urgent review will be conducted into the Met Police amid allegations 33 cases were “affected” by forensics mishandling.
The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) is to investigate allegations relating to the suspected mishandling of examinations within the Met’s forensic laboratory.
It is claimed a scientist working within the Met Forensic Services did not complete the requisite examinations and in some cases, wrongly informed investigators about the progress of the examinations.
The scientist was suspended on 26 March this year as part of the probe.
A statement from the Met said: “An internal review has found that 33 separate criminal investigations have been affected. 21 of these cases relate to investigations into rapes and other sexual assaults; the remaining 12 are investigations into violence, burglary and drugs offences. The cases relate to crimes whereby items were submitted for forensic examination between 2012 and 2017.
“We are urgently conducting a review to understand whether there is any risk to the criminal justice process and to take remedial action where necessary.
“All victims in the affected cases have been contacted, where it has been deemed appropriate to do so.
“In the case of the investigations into rape and sexual assaults, victims have been contacted by a Sexual Offences Investigative Techniques officer.”
A full audit was carried out into scientists’ workloads within the department, the Met said, to make sure there were no other instances of undeclared work.
The case was also referred to the Forensic Science Regulator.