University researchers in Sheffield develop new forensic fingerprint method to help police at crime scenes

University researchers in Sheffield have developed a new forensic fingerprint method which could help police gain a greater understanding of crime scenes from blood evidence.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 7:14 am

Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have developed a technique which can be applied at crime scenes for the tandem detection of human blood and DNA-typing from enhanced fingerprints.

It means that suspect identification through DNA can be carried out alongside testing for the presence of blood, so that police can identify which biofluid the DNA originated from.

It can help police to associate a victim's blood with a suspect’s fingermark.

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Sheffield Hallam University researchers have developed a new forensic fingerprint method to help police at crime scenes (Photo: Getty)

The Fingerprint Research Group is led by Professor Simona Francese and the latest development is an extension of the team’s ongoing research into how fingerprint technology can provide crime investigators with additional biometric information about a criminal's activities prior to committing an offence.

This can relate to the detection of drugs, hair and cleaning products used, condom lubricants and blood.

Professor Simona Francese said: “Our research has found that, within the system investigated, DNA profiling is still possible after the application of the method as a confirmatory test for blood detection and visualisation in fingermarks, to help police narrow down the number of suspects and better understand a crime scene.”

Conventionally, fingerprints are found at a crime scene by using chemical or physical treatment to visualise the marks and enable the comparison with fingerprint records on national police databases to identify a suspect.

The advancement in technology developed by Sheffield researchers allows it to be adapted to provide multiple images of fingermarks to yield biometric information as well as intelligence on a suspect’s possible lifestyle or activities.

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