Hundreds of 'drug-drivers' may have been wrongly prosecuted after alleged blood sample manipulation.
The samples were taken at Randox Testing Services (RTS), Manchester office, where sources believe there are as many as 484 suspected cases of manipulation. Police have launched a probe to find out if lab workers at the health company doctored the results of tests on blood, urine and hair.
RTS has provided forensic services to police forces, including Greater Manchester Police, for the past two years. Two male employees aged 47 and 31, who had
worked for RTS for three years, have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
Some 484 cases handled by the lab will now be reviewed in an effort to determine whether compromised data played a part in prosecution. RTS describes itself as being "an elite service provider on the UK Home Office's National Forensic Framework" and "entrusted by the majority of UK police forces". Randox labs are used by more than half of UK police forces.
RTS stated that the issue came to light following an internal investigation at their Manchester site. Blaming what they call "the perverse actions of individual(s)", the statement said: "The internal investigation centres on the manipulation of quality control data, which supports test results. "There is no evidence that either the samples or the quality control materials themselves were subject to interference." Randox alerted authorities after an internal probe last month found evidence to suggest “toxicology data was compromised”.
The Home Office said: “The matter is being urgently investigated by the Forensic Science Regulator and UK Accreditation Service.”