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Crime is rapidly increasing in this day and age, however, thanks to the increasing technology we can now detect and prevent crime, using forensic techniques, which I shall detail in this essay.

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Introduction

Forensic Science Crime is rapidly increasing in this day and age, however, thanks to the increasing technology we can now detect and prevent crime, using forensic techniques, which I shall detail in this essay. All contact leaves a trace; this is the basis of the policy taken by all forensic scientists, these traces have to be collected, and then examined, however care and precautions (protective suits and gloves etc) have to be taken to ensure that evidence or traces are not contaminated or damaged. There are two approaches to collecting evidence; there is the cautious approach of all visible areas and then the more vigorous search of concealed areas. When scientists are trying to detect poisons or toxins in the body (e.g alcohol), the laboratory methods they use are categorised as follows; physical tests, crystal tests, chemical spot tests, spectrophotometric tests, chromatographic tests. If the toxin were known to be alcohol, the collection and analysis would take place simultaneously, using a breathalyser test. A modern breathalyser is the Lion Alcometer converts the chemical energy in ones breath to electrical energy, an older method would be the "tube and bag", this would depend on the break down of potassium dichromate by the alcohol in a drivers breath. However this is more of an on the spot test, for drugs, other toxins and a more detailed analysis of alcohol, urine or blood tests will be done. Gas chromatography will tell how much alcohol is in blood or urine. ...read more.

Middle

Several methods are used in the collecting of fibre evidence - visual searches, searches using alternative light sources and searches with additional magnification. Recovery of evidence should use the least intrusive technique practicable. This could include picking, taping, scraping, or vacuuming. Clothing or other items having adhering fibres should be wrapped carefully if being sent to the laboratory. When examining fibres, the forensic scientist may use a special microscope called a comparison microscope. If the fibre is a colourless fibre, like polyester, melting point and refractive index determinations might be used. For man made fibres, analytical chemical techniques. However, once it is found that the sample from the crime scene matches the sample from the suspect, the reliability has to be assessed, e.g. if the garment the fibre came from was from a chain store, it would have to be taken in conjunction with other evidence. One of the most important discoveries in the history of forensic science was the discovery that no two people, not even twins, have the same fingerprints. Since this discovery, rules of classification have been layed down, (Sir Francis Galton identified 3 basic patterns - arches, loops and whorls) and crime detection has soared. Fingerprint evidence is very fragile and must be collected and analysed with care, there are 5 different methods that can be used to collect latent fingerprints. The first is dusting, this method is best used on non-porous surfaces, it involves powder being sprinkled over the place where the fingerprint is suspected to be, the powder will stick to the sweat and oil, and the fingerprint is revealed. ...read more.

Conclusion

When analysing pollen, a sample from a known geographical location is compared to a sample from the suspected source. However, factors have to be taken into consideration e.g. how the pollen is dispersed, what pollens are released in which seasons. Soil is found frequently on soles of shoes, clothing, wheel wells of vehicles etc. and most soil analysis consists of comparing a suspect sample with the sample from the scene of the crime, the factors monitered would be soil sedimentation analysis, pH measurements, mineral contenst, colour and density, further comparison can be made by detecting any pesticides or herbicides present. The "Universal system" assigns a number to each tooth - starting with the upper right (third) molar - 1 - and finishing with the lower right (third) molar - 32. Information is also recorded about the five visible surfaces of each tooth, so a detailed dental record(odontogram) is built up. Durability of teeth makes them an ideal means of identification for the forensic scientist as they are often the only means of identification after fires. Features of teeth can identify the criminal when bite marks are left at the scene of the crime. For successful identification of remains, post mortem and ante mortem records must be available. Teeth can also yield information a persons age. Once forensic experts have carried out as much analysis as possible they must construct a report that is admissable in the court of law, they sometimes make mistakes, and they evidence they come up with is not always 100% accurate, however, it can help make or break a case. ...read more.

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