LGC forensics firm to cut 170 jobs

Forensic expert at LGC The forensics firm employs staff in 22 countries

Related Stories

A forensics firm is axing up to 170 jobs after "unprecedented change" in the market, it has said.

LGC, which has worked on the cases of Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor, is based in Teddington, Middlesex, but has laboratories across the world.

The losses will come from the eight UK sites. Of the 200 posts in Culham, Oxfordshire, half are being reviewed.

Spokeswoman Guenaelle Holloway said LGC would be "streamlined and simplified" to make it more cost-effective.

LGC's turnover was £168m in 2011-2012, but following an increased workload after the announced closure of the Forensic Science Service in 2010, it says the market has "normalised".

'Realigning business'

Ms Holloway said: "The change programme will focus LGC on fewer specialist sites, creating bigger, more flexible teams; reshape our team structures to meet the skills mix required by changing customer needs; and reduce the total workforce by approximately 150-170 full-time employees.

"For those employees whose jobs may be at risk, this will be a difficult time.

DNA analysis

DNA projection
  • DNA carries our genetic code and determines traits from eye colour to personality
  • The 0.1% of DNA code sequences that vary from person to person are what make us unique
  • These are called genetic markers and are the part of the code that scientists use for DNA analysis

"We will fully support them as we realign the business, and do our utmost to help them secure new positions.

"This change programme is a critical part of LGC's commitment to building a robust and market-leading business for the long term."

LGC employs 1,800 staff in 22 countries.

The firm, which is the largest forensic science service provider in the UK, has the statutory function of Government Chemist.

As such, it provides advice to government and industry, acting as the referee analyst in cases of dispute.

It has played the role for more than 100 years, and before privatisation in 1996 it was known as the Laboratory of the Government Chemist.

LGC's UK laboratories are in Culham, Leeds, Runcorn in Cheshire, St Neots in Cambridgeshire, Tamworth in Staffordshire, Teddington, Risley in Cheshire, and Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

Some employees have taken voluntary redundancy or agreed to be relocated to other premises. A 90-day consultation is being held.

Horsemeat

LGC estimates the size of the forensics market, outside the work police do themselves, fell from roughly £155m in 2010 to £70-80m in 2012.

It recently worked on evidence for the trial of nine men accused of grooming and exploiting girls for sex in Oxford.

It also worked on the Vikki Thompson murder trial, in which Mark Weston became the first person to face a second murder trial after new DNA evidence came to light.

Away from crime, LGC also offers meat species testing, such as detecting the presence of horsemeat in food products.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features

  • picture frame and candlesRental chic

    How your landlord could soon be a corporate brand


  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • President Barack Obama pauses during a press conference on 28 August.'No strategy'

    Obama's gaffe on Islamic State reveals political truth


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.