DNA fingerprints or “marks” for use in
DNAprofiling and matching of physical data, such as fingerprints, are used insolving all crime types ranging from housebreaking and car crime to assaults,murder and rape. The forensic scientists will look for suitable samples at acrime scene, examining such items as weapons, clothing, hair or anything elsefrom which they can obtain body cells for DNA profiling, or fingerprints or”marks” for use in fingerprint matching.The DNA database canhelp to solve undetected cases where there is no suspect. DNA profiling canalso be used to identify a body formally. This is achieved by obtaining DNAprofiles from both the mother and father or by relating personal effects to abody. DNA profiling is used in such cases after all other means of identifyinga body have been carried out.The details of a person’s fingerprints aredistinctive.
Even identical twins do not have identical fingerprints. Afingerprint can be left on many types of surfaces – a glass, a door, or amurder weapon for example. It can be made visible by brushing it with a powderor treating it with chemicals in a lab. Similarly, if the fingers are coatedwith ink or another substance such as paint, oil or blood, then a permanentimpression may be left on a item.Unknown fingerprints, or “marks” from acrime scene are compared by a fingerprint expert against known prints. Thefingerprint expert will weigh up all the information available and determinewhether there is unique agreement between an unknown print and a known one whichwould confirm identity beyond all reasonable doubt.
The most crucial aspect of the fingerprintidentification process is the verification element. This is an independent andcomplete analysis, comparison and evaluation of both prints which is carriedout by a minimum of two fingerprint experts. The verification process is thekey to the reliability of fingerprint evidence. Consistent results fromdifferent experts ensure the reliability of fingerprint evidence.