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Fingerprint Examinations - Time to Modernise

July 01 2016

Forensic Science Interpreting The Evidence

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Fingerprint Experts

Simon Bunter, Fingerprint Expert, has been examining the work of Police Fingerprint Experts for many years.  Increasingly, he is concerned that cognitive bias is causing the strength of some fingerprint identifications adduced as evidence to be over-stated. Specifically, experts may report an exaggerated high number of matching ridge characteristics, whereas apparent differences are seemingly ignored.

The Scottish Fingerprint Inquiry Report and the R-v-Smith Court of Appeal judgement (both published in 2011) criticised the lack of note-taking by Fingerprint Experts and made specific recommendations to try and improve the accuracy and transparency with which fingerprint evidence is reported. In his article, published in Fingerprint Whorld, Mr Bunter seeks to demonstrate how the Inquiry's most important recommendations could be implemented in the day-to-day working procedures of UK Fingerprint Bureaux.

Simon Bunter's article: ACE-V: Meaningful note-taking during its linear application

This article is printed by permission of The Fingerprint Society, a Division of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. It was first published in Fingerprint Whorld, July 2016, Volume 41, Number 161, Pages 10-28.  Permission must be sought from The Fingerprint Society for anyone wishing to reprint/publish the article.

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