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calendar   Friday - January 02, 2009

Interesting article for the gun fans among us…

New technique lifts fingerprints from cleaned guns - gizmag.com

Wiping the gun clean has long been considered best practice for villains but may soon become a quaint custom as researchers have developed a way to ‘visualise fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed by measuring the corrosion of the surface by deposits from the fingerprints. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small calibre metal cartridge case before it is fired. The technique promises the ability to reopen many cases and solve cold cases around the world because the “underlying print never disappears” according to the scientists.

The Forensic Research Centre at the University of Leicester (UK) develops new ways of taking evidence from a crime scene http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_scene . Already world-leading in such areas as using X-Rays or electrically charging metal surfaces for fingerprint enhancement , they have now developed an entirely new way of detecting fingerprints – great fodder for Crime Scene Investigation fans … and one that could realistically result in thousands of cold cases being reopened around the world.

Forensic scientists at the University of Leicester, working with Northamptonshire Police, have announced a major breakthrough in crime detection which could lead to hundreds of cold cases being reopened.

Dr John Bond, Honorary Fellow at the University of Leicester and Scientific Support Manager at Northamptonshire Police said: “For the first time we can get prints from people who handled a cartridge before it was fired.”

“Wiping it down, washing it in hot soapy water makes no difference - and the heat of the shot helps the process we use.

“The procedure works by applying an electric charge to a metal - say a gun or bullet - which has been coated in a fine conducting powder, similar to that used in photocopiers.

“Even if the fingerprint has been washed off, it leaves a slight corrosion on the metal and this attracts the powder when the charge is applied, so showing up a residual fingerprint.

“The technique works on everything from bullet casings to machine guns. Even if heat vaporises normal clues, police will be able to prove who handled a particular gun.”

A bit more at the link. Stumbled across this as it was posted at FreeRepublic and wanted to share this interesting article with the BMEWS gun fans. 


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Posted by Severa   United States  on 01/02/2009 at 07:02 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeGuns and Gun Control •  
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