Innocent people are being wrongly convicted and criminals are escaping justice because of the failure of the forensic science system to meet basic standards, a UK forensic science regulator has said.

Delivering a stark message before the release of her annual report on Tuesday, the forensic science regulator, Dr Gillian Tully, told the Guardian the service had been operating “on a knife-edge” for years.

She warned of wide-ranging problems threatening the safety of justice, saying that too few providers are meeting the quality standards that were meant to stop errors.

Tully revealed that in England and Wales, not one CCTV image analyst met the required standard.

The system on a ‘knife-edge’ due to skills shortages and funding cuts in England and Wales, she said.

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