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Iain McKie
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In 2000 Deputy Chief Constable James Mackay of Tayside Police and a large police team spent months examining the circumstances behind the misidentification of two fingerprints by SCRO experts. Their report was kept secret and never published.

Earlier this month the Lord Advocate threatened to issue a gagging order preventing Shirley’s legal team using it in court proceedings.

The report concluded:

‘Fingerprint experts worldwide have collectively expressed the view that, while the misidentifications could initially be attributed to incompetence, these mistakes should have been discovered at an early stage, and failure to do so on the part of the experts was clearly culpable.

This enquiry has also highlighted that individual and corporate working practices and procedures had existed within SCRO. Also evident was
an apparent complacency and institutionalised arrogance perpetuated by a lack of any robust challenge within the judicial process.

In any organisation when mistakes occur, no matter the impact, an openness and transparency must exist whereby not only is the individual situation rectified with frankness and integrity, but remedial action in regard to procedures and practices is undertaken.

In this case, particularly in respect of crime scene mark ''Y7'', the experts were asked on several occasions for checks and re-checks to
be made. One cannot help but firmly believe that mistakes having been made, there prevailed a culture and mindset to preserve the reputation of individuals. There was then a criminal course of action, which disregarded the consequences and the impact on others. Sadly, this entrenched arrogance by some overshadows the dedication and
excellent work evident in others.’

You will find the full 57 page Executive Summary Report (10MB file) at: (Breaking news 20 March 2006)

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