Fingerprint technology developed at Sheffield Hallam University could help crack crimes

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Pioneering fingerprint technology developed at Sheffield Hallam University is one step closer to being used by forensic experts to crack crimes.

Researchers working on the technology, which allows a criminal profile to be created from a fingermark left at a crime scene, have been awarded £153,000 from the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund to further develop their work.

It will allow post-doctoral researcher, Robert Bradshaw, to continue his PhD work with West Yorkshire Police trialling the technology at real crime scenes.

The technology can identify substances including drugs, cleaning products and condom lubricants on fingermarks, which can provide crucial background information about a suspect’s activities.

It can also establish the sex of a criminal.

Dr Simona Francese, of the University’s Biomedical Research Centre, said: “This is another exciting step forward for forensic investigation and is the culmination of years of research and development.

“The support from the Home Office and West Yorkshire Police has been invaluable and demonstrates just how powerful this technology is.

“If implemented in casework, it could save police forces across the country investigative resources and time meaning criminals are brought to justice much faster.”

Neil Denison, Head of Identification for the Yorkshire and Humber Scientific Support Unit, said: “We are already trialling this technique at crime scenes and it’s showing some significant potential.”