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The Application Of Forensic Science In the Detection of Crime

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The Application Of Forensic Science In the Detection of Crime 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. Dr Edmund Locard, one of the founding fathers of forensic science stated that "every contact leaves a trace", this statement became commonly known as 'Locards Exchange principal'. The statement in a broader sense means: every time an individual comes in contact with a place or another individual, something of that individual is left behind at the place, and something of that place is taken away with the individual. For example, if someone gives you a big hug and walks away, fibres from their clothes will be transferred on to your clothes and vice versa. There are 2 types of forensic evidence that may be left at a crime scene, namely: * Biological (DNA) * Non - biological Biological evidence is evidence, which helps confirm the identity of the suspect, these are as follows: * Blood * Semen * Saliva * Urine * Vomit * Hair DNA DNA is a big step for science. A persons DNA (de-oxyribonucleic acid) can be found from a single strand of hair, skin under a murder victims nails or body fluids such as sweat, saliva, semen and blood. The chances of a sample of DNA being the same as another person, other than monozygotic twins is 1 in 24 million. This is why recent cases such as that of Sarah Payne rely so much on DNA samples found at the crime scene. ...read more.


Finger marks The discovery that no two people - not even identical twins - have the same fingerprints was one of the most important discoveries in the history of forensic science. For latent prints, the biggest problem is to make them visible. However, if left untouched, they are virtually permanent - latent prints have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs! * Dusting. Dusting is ideal on non-porous surfaces. Powder is dusted lightly over the surface on which a print has been left, and sticks to the oil and sweat and so brings out the pattern. Once you locate a print, the powder is very gently brushed off. The powdered print can then be photographed or lifted - adhesive material, such as Sellotape, is applied to remove the powdered print from the surface. * Iodine fuming. This works well on porous surfaces such as paper. The material is exposed to iodine vapour, which reacts with the sebum to produce yellow-brown prints. * The ninhydrin spray. This is a particularly useful method for all kinds of surfaces, including books and wallpaper, and is designed to develop prints that may be very old (30 years plus). * Silver nitrate. This picks up salt in sweat. This can be sprayed onto a surface, such as wood or cardboard, or it can be applied with a brush or swab. * Superglue fuming. Superglue vapour reacts with water in the print. A few drops of superglue are placed on a hotplate in a glass tank. ...read more.


The tyre track is compared with that of known tyres or the suspect's vehicle. A few methods are available to record tyre test impressions that accurately capture the tread pattern, design, individual characteristics and wear characteristics. These involve inking or greasing the tyre and rolling onto brown or white paper or board, or developing the impression using black magnetic fingerprint powder. * In a case that went to trial in Canada in 1948, two brothers, Donald and William Kett, were accused in a series of breaking and entering offences. After Donald was convicted, William claimed he was innocent and that the shoes that were matched back to the crime scenes belonged to his brother. However, the shoes were cut open and the marks inside compared to the feet of the two brothers. Based on this comparison, it was determined that William had worn the shoes and he was also convicted. The future of criminal evidence will be an exciting one to watch. With the aid of the spectacular advances in science, evidence will continue to improve with the use of technology and provide more answers from physical evidence examinations to previously unresolved questions. As the technology changes, so, too will the quality of the profession. Laboratory accreditation, which began as a voluntary program, is now an essential criterion for an operational crime laboratory in the United Kingdom. 1 Also referred to as "A Family Story", in 'Indelible Evidence' 2 Also referred to as "Hate Campaign", in 'Indelible Evidence' 3 referred to as "Process Of Elimination", in 'Indelible Evidence' 4 Also referred to as "Gunrole", in 'Indelible Evidence" 5 Also referred to as "Windfall" in 'Indelible Evidence' 6 See Footnote 4 ...read more.

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