Criminal investigation has evolved significantly in modern times. Forensic advancements have made it possible for more criminals to get caught and cases are being solved quicker. Forensic pathologists, scientists, and anthropologists are responsible for applying most of this technology where it is necessary, and the police investigators are able to apply the simpler processes themselves.

3D Forensic Facial Reconstruction

shutterstock_281870636In investigations 3D facial reconstruction software creates a possible physical appearance using human remains. This is a widely used method of identifying a suspect, even though it isn’t the most reliable one available. A BA in Forensic Science, MA in Forensic Anthropology or MD with an emphasis on Forensic Examination and Pathology is required in order to be able to use the software to replicate an image.

Magnetic Fingerprinting

If a crime is not solved within 48 hours of its occurrence, the chances of locating the perpetrator significantly decrease. Magnetic fingerprint dust and no-touch application means that a perfect fingerprint can be lifted from a crime scene, and using Automatic Fingerprint Identification (AFIS) investigators have access to a virtual database instantly in order to try and make a match.

DNA Sequencer

DNA profiling is most commonly used in forensics. In cases where DNA trace samples are highly degraded a DNA Sequencer is used instead. This works by generating a unique DNA pattern from the analysis of old bones or teeth and then using it to help identify either a suspect or victim.

Video Spectral Comparator 2000

Forgery is one of the most widespread illegal activities in the world, and in many cases leads to more serious crimes. Forensic document examination includes investigating any form of paperwork that has words, marks or symbols which are designed to convey a message. The Video Spectral Comparator 2000 is used to find hidden or obscured writing on any piece of paper, even if it has been extremely burnt or soaked.

shutterstock_250624096High Speed Ballistics Photography

High speed cameras are regularly used in forensic investigations. They help the police to determine the angle of bullet holes and the way in which injuries were obtained. They can also be used to recreate the way that glass may have shattered at a crime scene.

LA-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry)

Even the smallest fragments of broken glass can reveal a lot about what happened at the scene of the crime. The LA-ICP-MS is used to analyze the glass and determine factors such as the force of impact, the direction of the bullet and even the type of weapon used. It does this by using highly sensitive isotopic recognition to break down glass samples of any size to their atomic structure. With this knowledge, investigators are able to match miniscule pieces of glass that have been found on clothing or other objects which may be related to the crime in some way.

Hopefully, with all these improvements in forensic technology modern policing will eventually be able to prevent most crimes taking place instead of solving them.


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