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Here on BBC One, it's time
for the news where you are.
Good evening, I'm Asad Ahmad.
There's concern that
hundreds of cases
in the criminal justice system -
including rapes and murders -
could be in jeopardy,
after the collapse of
a private forensics firm.
It handles samples of DNA
for the Metropolitan Police
and other forces,
which have now stepped in
to bail the company out.
They say they've used public
money to avoid potential
miscarriages of justice.
Here's Alpa Patel.
An 18-year-old boy has been stabbed
to death in what police have
described as a senseless
Stephen Lawrence was killed...
Advances in forensics
techniques finally led to the
convictions of Stephen
It's one example of how the work
of forensic scientists is
crucial in catching criminals.
But some we have spoken to say
the industry is in crisis.
It is after the collapse
of this company, Key
Forensic Services Limited.
It is one of just three
companies of its kind
in England and Wales, processing
samples for dozens of police forces.
The collapse affects these seven
forces in the south-east, including
the Metropolitan police.
Combined, these forces
have more than 510
samples and cases
waiting to be processed.
And that is why the police say
they have stepped in,
pumping in public money
in order to keep the company
going for at least two months.
We don't know how much money
has been spent, despite
requests for that information.
But it is reported
to be in the millions.
With only three commercial companies
doing most of the work, if
one of them is going to actually
collapse, that is going to put
a massive strain on the other two.
We need to ensure that standards
are kept high throughout
all the processing of these cases,
which means it's impossible
to quickly ramp up
all of those cases.
Invariably that means that evidence
items will be delayed and
that will have a knock-on
effect on various cases
that are at the moment
going through the criminal
All of this is raising questions
about the government's
decision to privatise the forensic
science services in 2012.
Most forensic work
is now outsourced.
Critics have raised concerns
about the quality of that work.
The senior detective
in the Stephen Lawrence case says
there is an argument to look again
at how the industry responded.
-- is funded.
I don't think I could be
that ungracious to say
their only concern would be to make
a profit, but my common sense tells
me they would want to make a profit.
So maybe if we took that
burden away from them,
that it wasn't a profit-making
industry, then maybe
that would be better
for the criminal justice system.
Yesterday, the forensic
called for a review
into the involvement of private
companies and raised concerns
about the industry.
We did approach Key Forensic
Services Limited about our story but
they declined to comment.
The police watchdog is examining
a video which appears to show
a Metropolitan Police Officer
punching a demonstrator
in North London.
The incident took place
during a march at the weekend.
Chris Rogers is here now.
You've looked at this
Yeah. The video was posted on social
media by a Kurdish campaign group.
It was filmed by an eyewitness on
Sunday in Haringey at a march
against Turkish military attacks on
Kurdish territories inside Syria.
According to eyewitnesses,
protestors clashed with
demonstrators supporting the Turkish
military action. The footage shows
two police officers, one a medical
officer, we know that because of the
Green Cross on his shoulder, pinning
the protest to the ground and the
medical officer, it appears,
pointing him. We don't know where he
punched him. That is what it appears
to show. Now that video is being
referred by Scotland Yard to the
Independent police watchdog.
So what happens now?
They will study the footage and
speak to the officers involved. Some
experts have suggested that could be
a police tactic. It is not for us to
decide. It is down to the police
watchdog. They could come back with
a decision as early as this Friday.
That decision will be to launch a
formal investigation into exactly
Chris, thank you.
The illegal practice
of Female Genital Mutilation
in London, was brought up
by politicians today.
And the question they were asking,
was why, after the police had
logged hundreds of complaints
and the NHS had identified
thousands of victims,
was there not a single prosecution
in London last year?
Tim Donovan has been
hearing from a survivor.
I was cut at the age of 11.
I was cut together with my
cousins and sisters.
We were 15 in number.
I remember everything today.
It's like it just
Imagine it has been 20 odd years.
This woman suffered FGM.
Now an outreach worker in Southwark,
she campaigns against it.
They believe that women
who are not cut are unclean.
And the chances of them getting
married is very slim.
According to officials figures last
year, there were more than 2500
cases of FGM identified
by the NHS in London.
Conservatives on the London Assembly
questioning why then
there were only 199 reports of FGM
logged by the police, and why there
were no prosecutions.
Police have got to start
working closer with the
NHS, or the other way round.
I feel for the police because it is
such a difficult thing.
In France, I think, in quite
a few years they have had
at least 100 prosecutions.
In this country we haven't.
Police say it is misleading
to compare recorded Met
figures with anonymous NHS data.
The vast majority
of those referred to
in the NHS data set are adult women
were subject to FGM prior to
arriving in the UK.
A statement says there would be
no requirement on any
health professional to share this
information with police.
We have a lot of cases
social workers in particular,
who have suspected FGM
and make a referral.
If police think it's
complex they do here, too.
A training session for health
and social workers in Sutton
on how to detect
and how to intervene.
It's not just about prosecution
but about prior action
through FGM prevention orders.
These are orders you get
from the court are quite specific.
They will say a child
or an adult woman cannot go to
their country because they have
suspected FGM takes place.
So in some ways it has prevented
FGM from taking place.
So we have had over 200 of those
go through the family
courts where applications have been
made, similar to an injunction.
Some say too much
negative review over
prosecutions could further undermine
confidence, making it less
likely people reported.
But campaigners say that frankly
every opportunity needs
to be seized to raise awareness.
So it's a hundred years since women
were allowed to vote -
and for the first time,
all men over the age of 21.
To mark the centenary,
tonight we meet Mary Ellis.
She's the last surviving female
pilot from the Second World War -
and she's been speaking
to Sarah Harris about
her magnificent work.
She was born before women first
got the vote and became
an aviation pioneer.
Even at 101 years old,
Mary likes to visit Biggin Hill
to see the planes she flew solo
during the Second World War.
Much to the shock of the male ground
crew who initially refused
to take her to check-in.
"We can't go, we're
waiting for the pilot."
I said, "I am the pilot."
There is little me in my navy blue
and gold blazer, you know.
They wouldn't believe me.
They sent two men in to search
the aeroplane to make sure.
The daily delivery of operational
aircraft is only a man's job.
Training machines and other
less powerful planes
are piloted by the women,
and it's a job they're
doing exceedingly well.
In fact, Mary was flying
bombers solo where men
would have a team of seven crew.
There were other dangers too.
Along came another
aeroplane beside me,
with German markings on it.
I thought - oh, my goodness.
Oh, I haven't seen
any of those before.
I waved him away like that,
and he waved to me like that.
I was so frightened.
Now Mary encourages other young
women to take up flying in a world
still dominated by men.
She says there's
nothing quite like it.
Up in the air on your own
and you can do whatever you like.
You know, I flew 400 Spitfires
and occasionally I would take one up
and go and play with the clouds,
which was so delightful and lovely.
Oh, I can't tell you
how wonderful it was.
Sarah Harris, BBC London News.
A great example for both men and
women. Now the weather.
A great example for both men and
women. Now the weather. Very cold
indeed today. But bright. We had
sunny skies overhead. This picture
sums elope perfectly. One of our
Weather Watchers in Waterloo. Blue
skies overhead. I can't promised
that would be the case tomorrow. We
will start the day with clear skies.
Starry skies at the moment in most
places. Underneath the clear skies
it will turn into a very cold night.
Even -3 in town. -6 in the
countryside. Tomorrow morning, where
you see the Green map, that shows
bright skies and sunshine. The grey
shading is cloud. A fair amount of
cloud as we go into the afternoon.
Most places staying dry. Patchy rain
in the west later. A touch milder
than it has been. Six or 7 degrees.
Here is your Outlook for the next
few days. Temperatures dipping away.
The weekend milder. Rain on