Fingerprint Experts

The presence of a person's fingerprint at a crime scene does not necessarily demonstrate that they were the offender, however, many people have been charged on this basis alone.  Our Fingerprint Experts are Forensic Scientists who scrutinise and evaluate all the factors pertinent to the fingerprint evidence, not just the ‘identification’ reported by the police Fingerprint Expert.  It is this wider, more thorough, approach that has previously shown some prosecution allegations cannot be sustained by the evidence and in some cases has proved the defendant’s innocence.

Fingerprint Expert evidence and identification errors came under the spotlight in 2011 with criticism by Judges in the Court of Appeal case of R-v-Smith and numerous recommendations made by the Chairman of the Fingerprint Inquiry Scotland, the most thorough review of fingerprint methodology the UK has known since the evidence was first adduced over 100 years ago.  In our experience, many police Fingerprint Bureaux and Fingerprint Experts have been slow to heed the criticisms of the judgement or implement the recommendations of the Inquiry.  If these recommendations have not been followed in a particular case, our report will detail how this has affected the prosecution’s fingerprint evidence and whether the police expert has made any fingerprint identification errors.

In order to produce such higher level reports, our Forensic Scientists go over and above the standard comparison work carried out by other Fingerprint Experts.  In addition to an independent comparison of the ‘identified’ fingerprints, our Scientists will regularly examine the scene, in-situ photographs, exhibits, CSI working notes and even CCTV footage, all of which can assist in establishing how an object was handled or whether the fingerprints were indeed recovered from the precise area the offender was seen to touch.