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Electric Vehicles

This article introduces electric vehicle technology and discusses safety concerns that might impact Collision Investigation in the future.

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Phones, Drugs and Bad Language!

My g gt prs on tht fire. On. tens bone & peng’ Make any sense? Depends if you speak ‘drug’!

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September Newsletter Now Available To Download

The September newsletter is now available to download. In this edition:

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What is EncroChat?

EncroChat dates to 2015 and is a Dutch company with at least one of its servers based in France. In early 2020, the EncroChat system was infiltrated by the National Gendarmerie and in March 2020 they started to investigate the messages jointly with the Dutch Police.

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Forensic Imagery Analysis – Why do I need an expert to tell me what I can see already?

The use of CCTV as evidence led to the development of the discipline we know as Forensic Imagery Analysis. In addition to CCTV, analysts examine imagery from other sources, e.g. dashcams or body worn video.

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Spring 2021 Newsletter Now Available

The Spring 2021 Newsletter is now available to download. In this edition, we talk about:

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Instructing a Digital Forensic Expert in the Family Courts

Digital forensic experts are regularly instructed in family cases as single joint experts. Generally, instructions can be divided into three categories:

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Can you determine when a diary entry was written?

In a recent case involving the dating of entries within a diary, KBC document expert, Louise Floate, looked into the aging of ink on the basis of whether or not it was dry.

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Wills: Genuine or forgery?

Handwriting experts are often asked to examine signatures on Wills in order to determine if they are genuine or have been copied by another person.

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Ross Donnelly's article on Google Takeout Location Data published

Ross Donnelly has had an article entitled "Can Google Takeout Location Data Be Trusted?" published by the online digital forensics publication, DFIR Review.

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A Simple Guide to the Cell Site Process

The Police intelligence analyst will use different sources of data to produce a timeline or schedule.

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September Newsletter Now Available To Download (1)

Our latest newsletter is now available by clicking HERE. In this edition, we share news of:

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An ‘IRS’ fire incident report is not a fire investigation report

Arson is an offence which falls under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 in England and Wales, and the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland Order) 1977. Scotland uses the similar charge of wilful fire-raising, contrary to Common Law.

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Fire Investigation Update 2020

The ‘Code of Practice for Investigators of Fire and Explosions for the Criminal Justice System in the UK’ (https://www.ife.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/Documents/Fire_Inve

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May Newsletter Now Available To Download

Our latest newsletter is now available by clicking HERE.

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Drug Trace Evidence – Is Seeing Believing?

At face value, it would appear to be a straightforward matter as to whether or not a drug is present upon analysis of a material or object. This, however, is not always so, and especially when we are dealing with drug traces only.

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Cannabis Cultivation & Cannabis Products - an update for 2020

KBC's Julian Dunnill provides a useful update for barristers and solicitors on cannabis cultivation cases and newly emerging cannabis-derived products.

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Simon Bunter's Article on Cognitive Bias Published in The Writ

Simon Bunter's article entitled "Cognitive Bias in Fingerprint Evidence: does the alleged 'matching' ridge detail even exist?" has been published in the Winter 2019/Spring 2020 edition of The Writ.

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Does The Evidence Speak For Itself? – Not Unless It Is Investigated

In the world of medicine, a good physician will generally use initial test results as a starting point for diagnosis.

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Checkm8 for iPhone Forensics

Examination of an Apple iOS device is a big challenge for Digital Forensics. Apple have focussed on improving the security of their devices over many years with such success that law enforcement was unable to access the devices without the PIN code.

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Mark Henderson to speak at Trinity Chambers Crime Seminar

KBC's mobile phone specialist, Mark Henderson, will be the main speaker at a Criminal Law Seminar hosted by Trinity Chambers on Thu

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40 Years Of Forensic Science - What Has Changed?

KBC is celebrating 40 years of forensic expertise in 2020. As part of our celebrations, we invited Dr Duncan Woods, former Forensic Biologist with the company, to share his thoughts on what has changed during that time:

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A Drug Driver's Tour of the UK and Ireland

Drugs and Toxicology expert, Richard Brown, has put together a useful review of current legislation and issues surrounding Drug Drive cases throughout the UK and Ireland. Scroll down to your relevant jurisdiction.

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Indecent Images of Children – Indicative or Not?

The term “Indicative” appears to be gaining prevalence in prosecution SFRs and Statements in relation to digital evidence – but what exactly does that mean for your cases?

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Indecent Images of Children – Cashing in on the Cache

In cases relating to indecent images of children, the prosecution often relies on material drawn from web browser caches.

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Can Social Media Archives help your case?

At Keith Borer Consultants we examine mobile phones on a daily basis for messages exchanged via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

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September 2019 Newsletter now available to download

Our latest newsletter is now available by clicking HERE.

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How Reliable Are Negative Fingerprint Results?

The following is an example of a reported negative result providing a rather different result upon independent examination.

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Instructing a mobile phone expert – why all the questions?

At Keith Borer Consultants we aim to make it as easy as possible to instruct an expert but when it comes to instructing a mobile telephone expert there are a number of questions we usually need answering before we estimate.

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Get to know your Expert

The risk of having an expert who is not qualified was highlighted in the collapse of a recent carbon credit fraud trial after Judge Loraine-Smith cited the expert as having little or no understanding of expert duties, lack of training and education, and his work not peer-reviewed.

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May newsletter now available to download (1)

Our latest newsletter is now available to download. In this edition:

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A short response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry report into Forensic Science

“Forensic Science England and Wales is in a state of crisis and must be reformed urgently, Lords Committee says” was the media notice headline following the recent House of Lords inquiry into Forensic Science (https://www.parliame

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Is it a torch, lighter… or stun gun?

One of the latest gimmicks in novelty devices has seen the emergence of the plasma cigarette lighter. This small, hand-held item looks like a normal flip lighter, but uses a plasma discharge across two terminals to create the ‘flame’.

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Collision investigation evidence aids jurors return not guilty verdict in Bermuda Supreme Court

Collision investigator Mike Prime was instructed recently in a high profile Supreme Court case in Bermuda. The defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm by driving without due care and attention.

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Recent Ripples in the World of Drugs

The world of drugs is not static. Whilst there are always old favourites, new drugs emerge, legislation changes and individual cases raise unique issues.

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Simon Bunter's article 'Impossibility, bias and exaggeration' published in Magistrate magazine

Simon Bunter puts old fashioned fingerprints under modern day scrutiny in his latest article for Magistrate magazine.

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10 years in Digital Forensics - a review by Ross Donnelly

Since I first started in the forensic market over 10 years ago, much has changed. Forensic science, especially in the Digital arena, has become overly commoditised. Legal Aid rates have been slashed a number of times, making it difficult to recruit and retain the best experts, who a

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Fire investigation: accreditation versus certification

In the UK, the fire investigation profession is very much under the umbrella of forensic science.

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So you need a Digital Forensic Expert?

Dr David Schudel talks about instructing an expert in cases involving digital evidence, in the Easter 2019 issue of The Barrister magazine.

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Praise for Drugs Expert at recent Legal Conferences

KBC's Julian Dunnill, a forensic expert in all aspects of drugs, spoke to delegates at the Criminal Law Friends Society Autumn Crime Conferences in Birmingham and London in October. His talk entitled 'Recent Ripples in the World of

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Streamlined Forensic Reporting – Forensic Regulator questions why Stage 1 reports are not challenged in Court?

In the latest edition of the Forensic Science Regulator’s Newsletter Issue 30, Dr Tully comments:

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Forensic Science: Interpreting The Evidence 8 Years On

In June 2010 we published our first website article called “Forensic Science: Interpreting the Evidence”.

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Simon Bunter's article on Cognitive Bias published in The Barrister

Simon Bunter's article 'Cognitive Bias in Fingerprint Evidence: Does the alleged 'matching' ridge detail event exist?' is now available

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Latest KBC newsletters now available to download

For customers in England and Wales, click

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Drugs experts to speak at 3 autumn Criminal Law Updates

Drugs experts from KBC will be speaking again at this year's Criminal Law Essential Update events in Manchester, Birmingham and London in October.

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Cannabis Case Study

In a recent case involving production of cannabis, KBC expert Richard Brown was asked to examine the scientific evidence and to provide an independent valuation of the cannabis. His conclusions highlight the benefits of

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Have you checked the continuity of your exhibits? Here's why you should...

We regularly recommend that an examination of exhibits is undertaken in cannabis cultivation cases, as factors that can have a bearing on potential yield may be overlooked or misinterpreted. Things to consider include whether the plants were grown from seed or cuttings, plant g

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May 2018 Newsletters now available to download

For customers in England and Wales, click HERE.

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DNA evidence – what is the value of an SFR1 ‘DNA Match Report’?

The application of Streamlined Forensic Reporting for DNA profiling, particularly in rape and serious sexual offences, is problematic and needs careful consideration if miscarriages of justice are to be avoided.

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R v MA, Unreported, Leeds Crown Court 18 April 2018 - HHJ Collier QC

On 18th April 2018 HHJ Collier QC made a ruling concerning whether “phone material” should be served as numbered PPE (Pages of Prosecution Evidence) for the purposes of the Litigators’ and Advocates Graduated Fee Schemes, ultimately concluding that they should not be.

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The Proof is in the IP Address – A Stalking Case Study

We have previously reported on how prosecution errors in requesting IP address evidence can cause issues (https://keithborer.co.uk/news/police-errors-finger-wrong-suspects-cybercrime).

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Facebook Examinations at Keith Borer Consultants

In recent times the use of social media such as Facebook has increased exponentially. Given that there are over an estimated 1.4 billion daily active Facebook users worldwide as of December 2017, it is of little surprise that there has been a significant increase in enquires regarding Facebook ex

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A Clear Cut Case in Digital Forensics

KBC recently examined a computer for an indecent images of children case, in which the prosecution case appeared to be very strong. The defendant was charged in relation to making 50 indecent images of children, each of which was live an accessible in a Downloads directory for the file sha

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Footwear marks – are you getting the whole story?

Footwear mark examinations can vary enormously, from simply coding the ‘pattern type’ of a mark and a suspect’s shoes to determine if they are worthy of further work, to carrying out full evidential comparisons. Since our 2012 article (

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An unusual residential fire - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Dr David Schudel reports on an unusual residential fire which was investigated during his time in the Cayman Islands. This article has been published by the UK Association of Fire Investigators in their quarterly magazine 'Fire & Arson Investigator' (Vol 5 Issue 1, p7-12) and reproduced here

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DNA evidence: Court primer highlights important questions

The recently published ‘Forensic DNA analysis – a primer for Courts’ document serves as a timely reminder of the complexity of DNA profile evidence i

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KBC September newsletter now available

Click HERE to download our latest newsletter. What can our digital team do for your case? Find out which KBC experts will be speaking at an ev

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DNA Profile Matches – their use and misuse

Since the implementation of streamlined and abbreviated reporting many within the forensic science profession have become increasingly concerned about the use of DNA profile match reports in contested criminal cases.

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Uncertain Provenance - Digital Evidence in Context

Following a recent case involving indecent images, our instructing solicitors commented of us “We always receive a prompt and efficient service, but what is particularly helpful is the opening of other avenues of enquiry which hadn't been previously considered”.

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Current shortfalls in the interpretation of DNA evidence

Dr Davey's article can be found HERE. Important considerations are: Who did the DNA come from? How was the DNA deposited? Illustrated with case examples.

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Forthcoming Forensic Seminars

24th January 2019 Steve Guest, Digital Forensics, Wilberforce Chambers, Hull

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Current shortfalls in the interpretation of DNA evidence (1)

Dr Davey's article can be found HERE. Important considerations are: Who did the DNA come from? How was the DNA deposited? Illustrated with case examples.

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Digital forensics – an unusual alibi

An unusual source of digital data was used recently to corroborate the defendant’s account in a case of alleged assault and rape. The defendant was a taxi driver whose vehicle was fitted with a digital advertising screen. The adverts displayed can change based on the location of the taxi. An e

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Cannabis Cultivation cases in 2017

In a previous article we discussed the potential impact of the R-v-Auton case ruling on your cannabis cultivation cases. This new article expands on some additional impacting factors.

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Latest Newsletters Available to Download Spring 2017

Download our latest newsletters for Spring 2017. In this edition, you can read about:

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The Evidence that Never Was 1 - Evidence in Need of Evaluation

In her report published in January 2017 Dr Tully, the Forensic Regulator, warned that cuts to forensic science budgets are compromising quality and now pose a risk to justice. We agree. Cuts h

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The Evidence that Never Was 2 - Evidence Not Collected

Continuing on a theme of Evidence that Never Was and our article on Evidence in Need of Balanced Evaluation, another area where cuts to forensic budgets are removing the ability of the CJS to deliver justice is where Evidence is Not Collected. This is exemplified by the number of trials being br

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No smoke without fire?

The BBC reported last week that a lawyer’s trousers caught fire whilst he addressed jurors in an arson trial in Florida. The cause? He had a faulty e-cigarette in his pocket.

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Streamlined Forensic Reports Stage 1 – what do they mean in your case?

Issue 12 of the Better Case Management (BCM) Newsletter published this month focuses on Streamlined Forensic Reporting. The newsletter draws attention to the intended role of the SFR1 in identifying

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Impossible Fingerprints – misinterpretation of evidence

Simon Bunter’s article: Location. Location, Location...

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Mobile Phone Fixed Penalty to be Increased

On 1st March 2017 the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (Penalty Points) (Amended) Order 2017 and The Fixed Penalty (Amendment) Order 2017 come into force.

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Considering batteries as an ignition source in fire investigation

The BBC reports that Samsung has concluded an investigation into last year's Galaxy Note7 overheating problems and has found that these were caused by faults in batteries from two different manufacturers. Samsung recalled the phones in Se

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State of Digital Forensics 2017

State of Digital Forensics 2017 Streamlined Forensic Reporting: - Misuse

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KBC’s mobile phone experts can recover data that others can’t………

In the last few weeks, KBC’s Mark Henderson has been recovering data from mobile phones which the prosecution claimed could not be recovered.

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KBC’s Digital Forensics team increases its capacity

As a result of the continuing success of KBC’s mobile telephone and cell site analysis experts, we have increased our capacity with the recruitment of Ryan Knight. He joins the team in Durham with a First Class degree in Digital Forensics.

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ISO17025 - extension to scope and renewal of accreditation

In August 2016, KBC renewed its accreditation to ISO17025. This was a particularly meaningful assessment as it marks the beginning of a new four year assessment cycle and confirms KBC’s continuing commitment to international quality standards after the acquisition by Cellmark.

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September Newsletters now available to download

You can now download our latest newsletters: For customers in England and Wales, click HERE.

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Fingerprint Examinations - Time to Modernise

Simon Bunter, one of our Fingerprint Experts, 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

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How key information crucially affected the outcome in a footwear mark case

On a recent visit to a laboratory one of KBC’s footwear mark experts, Alan Henderson, was called upon to check two footwear marks the prosecution expert had ‘matched’ to the client’s shoe. All was well with one mark, but the other didn’t quite align properly, so the KBC expert looked beyond the

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Something smells a bit odd – care required at fire scenes

KBC fire investigation experts have encountered a number of fire cases recently where the prosecution investigators have erroneously implied that ‘accelerants’ were present at the scene due to ‘hits’ or ‘indications’ from sniffer dogs or hand held hydrocarbon detectors.

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Battery Fires – a Hot Topic

KBC recently assisted in an arson case in which the Crown offered no evidence after our fire investigation report was served.

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How key information crucially affected the outcome in a footwear mark case (1)

On a recent visit to a laboratory one of KBC’s footwear mark experts, Alan Henderson, was called upon to check two footwear marks the prosecution expert had ‘matched’ to the client’s shoe. All was well with one mark, but the other didn’t quite align properly, so the KBC expert looked beyond the

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Ann Kiernan's role in the Deepcut Inquest

KBC’s Ann Kiernan was the ballistics expert appointed by the Coroner at the recent Deepcut Inquest into the death of Pte Cheryl James. Ann brought to the investigation her significant and relevant experience of wounds caused by military rounds. On directions from the Coroner, Ms Kiernan organis

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‘Hot-Tubbing’ in a Suit – Highlighting fingerprint flaws in the witness box

hot-tubbing ► verb: the process by which expert witnesses from like disciplines can give their evidence concurrently.

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Acid Reflux and Borderline Breath Test Results

When alcoholic drinks are consumed, a small amount of alcohol is excreted from the blood into the breath allowing breath testing devices to be used to measure a person’s alcohol level.

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Tumble Dryer Fires: 4 million hazardous appliances and a 12 month repair wait

A flurry of tumble dryer fires led to Whirlpool undertaking a product safety review in November last year. Since that time, the manufacturer has found issues with more than 100 of their Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline and Swan models, manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. They h

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Spring Newsletters now available to download

Click HERE to download our newsletter for England and Wales - with articles on the misuse of Streamlined Forensic Reporting and an opportunity to meet our new RTA experts.

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Drugs cases: Don't delay, make contact today!

With drugs cases, there are several stages at which you may wish an input from KBC, such as for trial, sentencing or POCA hearings, none of which are stand-alone events. We regularly find that the longer enquiries are left, the harder it can be to address all the relevant factors.

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Cycle Acceleration Trials at Bruntingthorpe

Keith Borer Consultants' Jim Keenan was involved in cycle acceleration testing at a recent ITAI event at Bruntingthorpe. He has had his results published in the ITAI journal 'Impact'. You can read the article

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RTAs – the advantages to the defence of early vehicle examinations

Are you a solicitor who has just been instructed by a client facing a serious road traffic offence following an accident? It is likely that at some point you will consider an examination of the vehicles involved but perhaps not at the very outset of the case. There are, however, real ad

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Retirement: John Fowler leaves KBC after 13 years

John Fowler from our imagery team retires this month after 13 years at Keith Borer Consultants. John joined us from the RAF and was pivotal in growing our CCTV and Imagery department. We would like to wish him all the best for his retirement.

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Evidence Ignoring the Context

We recently had a case where the Crown expert concluded her findings provided strong support that the defendant had broken the wine glass used in an alleged assault on his partner. The Crown expert arrived at this conclusion largely because she considered the properties of the g

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Digital Forensics: Distribution or not?

In a recent case at Keith Borer Consultants, a man was charged with making and distributing indecent images of children. In interview, he accepted downloading the images one night with his partner but denied knowledge of distribution of such images.

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Forensic Science in Crisis – how it occurs

Current criticism of the provision of forensic science in England/Wales deserves some examples. Here are three recent ones that are representative of the sort of detrimental consequences of government policies

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How a bonfire party became a case of alleged arson

As November 5th approaches this is a cautionary tale of how a celebratory BBQ and bonfire party became a criminal investigation when a wooden hut close to the bonfire caught fire and was burnt down.

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Change of Ownership

Keith Borer Consultants is pleased to announce that it has become a part of Orchid Cellmark Ltd, one of the leading providers of forensic services in the UK.

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Autumn Newsletters Available to Download

Please follow the links to download our latest newsletters. For news in England & Wales, click HERE.

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KBC’s Digital forensics team commended for their court presentation skills

As a barrister or solicitor, you want to be sure that your forensic expert is technically competent and skilled at presenting their opinion in court. Two of KBC’s digital forensics team have recently been specifically commended on their court room skills.

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Dr Duncan Woods' article published in The Barrister

You can read the published version of Dr Woods' article 'Forensic Science in Crisis' HERE.

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20 years at KBC!

Dr Guy Cooper is celebrating 20 years with KBC. He joined the firm in July 1995 after completing several years' Post Doctoral research at the University of York. Guy specialises in footwear mark evidence, glass fragment transfer

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Police errors finger wrong suspects for Cybercrime

In the fight against cybercrime, records of who accessed accounts, from communication providers such as Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, can be critical in helping the Police track down who is responsible.

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New Publication - Simon Bunter's article on fingerprint persistence

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KBC Podcasts - another way to keep up to date

Experts from Keith Borer Consultants have put together a series of podcasts. Click on the titles to listen to our latest updates. We'd love to hear your feedback, too! Why instruct us?

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Footwear Mark Proficiency Test Provides Surprising Results

Our footwear mark examiners successfully completed a recent International proficiency test by getting the right results.

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Junk science or junk evidence?

The recent article by Alastair Logan OBE (LINK) accurately describes the current crisis in forensic science provision, except for the title – “Junk science threat to justice”. Th

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KBC May 2015 Newsletters

For our England/Scotland/Northern Ireland newsletter, please click here.

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Fingerprint Experts’ errors are in ‘No Doubt’

Simon Bunter, one of our Fingerprint Experts, has had some interesting times challenging the certainty of fingerprint identifications in casework. The day-to-day working practices of many Police Fingerprint Experts have changed very little in recent years, despite criticisms and recommendations

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Forensic Science in Crisis

Recent publicity surrounding the developing crisis in forensic science in England & Wales suggests that the fears of forensic professionals, about the adverse consequence of Government policies, may finally be receiving some prominence.

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Are the Police taking the Pee? (Literally)

As a physiological basis for analysing a person’s blood alcohol level, urine is far from ideal. It does not give a real time indication of alcohol level even when collected appropriately. When collected inappropriately, it is not fit for purpose.

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KBC now has an ISO17025 accredited blood-searching facility

In the past two years, we have posted a number of news articles on the shift to the defence to prove their innocence rather than simply putting the prosecution forensic evidence to the test. With dwindling forensic budgets for the prosecution, the proportion of forensic examinations which requir

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Mobile phones – where is my mast?

Frequently we receive enquiries where solicitors or defendants have visited a local area and observed many more telecommunications’ masts (i.e. cell sites) than the prosecution mapping indicates there are, often closer than the cell site that was connected at the pertinent time.

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Drug Driving Offences from 2nd March 2015

From 2nd March 2015 new Drug Driving offences came into force at Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, namely driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a concentration of specified controlled drug above the proscribed limit in blood.

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New Offence of Extreme Pornography Depicting Rape

We wrote recently about the new offence of revenge porn (read the forensic view here). This isn’t the only new offence in the area of indecent or pornographic imagery prosecutions.

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Oddball cases – the list grows

At Keith Borer Consultants a wide range of cases come our way.

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New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

What are they?

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Driving Licence Changes

From 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart of the photocard driving licence will no longer be issued by the DVLA. The decision to abolish the counterpart is as a result of the government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ consult

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Revenge Porn – A Case of Whodunit?

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is to make the posting of “revenge porn” a specific offence.

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The Trouble with Footwear Mark Evidence - Casework Examples

Example 1: In this case the defendant was told in interview that his shoes matched a mark at the scene of a burglary and was asked to account for this. The SFR1 actually reported that the defendant and another man’s shoes had bee

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When, why and how to seek alcohol technical defence reports?

Each year in the UK thousands of road accidents are caused by drunk drivers. Accordingly, those charged with drink-driving are subject to public condemnation and, if found guilty, lose their licence and may lose their livelihood. In some instances though, mitigating circumstances could allow a

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Social Media offences – how a forensic approach can help

There have been many high profile cases involving information posted on social networks in recent years.

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Tracker Device Used To Determine Manner Of Previous Driving

Tracking devices fitted to vehicles are becoming increasingly common. In a case heard earlier this month in Edinburgh’s High Court, the data they contain had a significant bearing on the case in an unusual development.

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Poor Practice in Fire Investigation Cases

In April 2011 our colleague Dr David Schudel wrote, rather prophetically, on our website ‘the reality is that fire investigation in the UK is suffering more and more from budgetary cuts and lack of critical thinking. Forensic scientists that used to be routinely involved in fire investigation ar

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The Value of Cell Site Analysis

Jo Morris, Barrister at Church Court Chambers, has published an article on The Value of Cellsite Analysis. You can find the article HERE, which has also been featured on the Crim

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How the Cloud can help Defence Solicitors

For your case preparation, do you need to present the content of messages or a photograph from your client’s mobile phone but which is not available for examination due to being lost, stolen, sold or simply that your client does not want to be parted from it? Previously, unless the client had sa

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Forensic Science Continues to be Neglected in Sexual Offences

The Joint CPS and Police Action Plan on Rape was published in June 2014 in response to concerns about the number of rape and sexual abuse offences that go unreported and a drop in the number of cases referred by police to CPS. Together they are calling for greater challenge to persistent stereot

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The Road Tax Disc is Disappearing

On 1st October, after 93 years on our windscreens, road tax discs will be abolished. Tax discs will no longer be issued and motorists will not receive a paper tax disc to fix to their windscreen. They will still need, however, to pay road tax to drive or keep a vehic

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KBC Autumn 2014 Newsletters now available

For our England & Wales Newsletter, please click HERE

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Cigarette Induced Fires - KBC research in IAAI's Fire and Arson Investigator

Student Emily Hazell and former KBC employee Dr David Schudel have had their work published in the July 2014 issue of IAAI's Fire & Arson Investigator Journal. You can read it here.

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Facebook Defences

The Facebook social network has become a cultural phenomenon, with well over a billion users. With this proliferation, Facebook evidence has inevitably become involved in a large number of legal matters, leading to a need for expert advice from a Digital Forensic Investigator.

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The future of Black Boxes in cars

Black boxes in aircraft are familiar to most people, but less well understood is how this type of technology is transferring to cars. In the USA, for example, from 1st September 2014, all new motor cars, light goods vehicles, vans and SUVs must be fitted with a ‘black box’ or Event Da

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Sexual offences – ‘consent or not’ and the case for forensic examinations

Sexual offences – ‘consent or not’ and the case for forensic examinations

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Are you taking the DIY approach to computer evidence in employment matters?

Your experience will tell you that there are some DIY enthusiasts that you would be happy to have undertaking projects in your home. There are other projects, however, where specialised knowledge and experience really are required.

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KBC increases capacity in Imagery Analysis

We are pleased to announce that Nigel Cook joined KBC on 1st April 2014 to provide additional capacity for enhancement and analysis of CCTV footage. He has a background in crime scene forensic work and as a specialist imagery analyst with the RAF.

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Keith Borer Consultants Spring Newsletter 2014 Scotland, ROI, NI

For news and updates in Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, please click here.

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Keith Borer Consultants Spring Newsletter 2014 England and Wales

For news and updates in England and Wales, please click here.

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Simon Bunter's article on Fingerprint Persistence

Simon Bunter's article entitled "How long can an identifiable fingerprint persist on an exterior surface?" has been published in a new journal CSEye (http://cseye.com/). You can read Simon's article

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Extreme Pornography - The View of a Digital Forensic Investigator

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, enacted in January 2009, criminalised the possession of extreme pornography.

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Perception Response Time

Perception response time (PRT) is commonly known as reaction time and can be defined as the time that elapses from the instant that the driver recognises the existence of a hazard in the road, to the instant that the driver takes appropriate action, for instance, applying the brakes. The respons

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Mud, mud - glorious mud!

Background

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Victor Nealon appeal - DNA profiling by Keith Borer Consultants

On 13th December, BBC News reported that Victor Nealon was released from prison after serving 17 years of a life sentence for attempted rape. The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction after new evidence revealed the presence of DNA from an unknown male.

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Drug Valuations: What are they for and have you got the right one?

In most illegal drug cases, street values are quoted in court, but why?

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Indecent Images – Make Sure the Evidence is Really There

On 17th October, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer published final guidance on the prosecution of cases involving child sex abuse (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24555303).

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Cigarettes Do Start Fires

Cases where smoking/accidental discard has been raised as a defence are sometimes dismissed on the basis that the timeframe was too long or too short for a fire to occur. In a recent Crown Court trial, a forensic scientist specialising in fire cases told a jury that it takes more than 30 minutes

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Dangers of Streamlined Forensic Reporting (SFR)

BAILII, on 28th June 2013, published judgment in the case of R v Lawrence [2013] EWCA Crim 1054. In this case the appellant had pleaded guilty on a false prospectus provided by the Crown to a firearm offence she had

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Criminal Justice Secure Email

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Keith Borer Consultants Autumn Newsletter 2013 England and Wales

For news and updates in England and Wales, please click here.

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Keith Borer Consultants News Autumn 2013 Scotland Ireland Northern Ireland

For news and updates in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, please click here.

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Causing Death by Driving while Uninsured / Unlicensed

Section 3ZB of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states: A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he causes the death of another person by driving a motor vehicle on a road and, at the time when he is driving, the circumstances are such that he is committing an offence under:

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Recovery of deleted messages on Blackberrys

The default setting on Blackberry handsets is to store messages for 30 days. It is likely therefore, that the information you need is in the deleted messages. Historically, these have been difficult and expensive to recover, requiring the chips to be removed from the circuit board.

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Understanding the context of a web search

In a recent murder case, a woman was strangled to death. Digital forensic evidence was presented suggesting the crime was premeditated, which the defendant denied.

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South Wales newspaper report of David Schudel's evidence

Forensic scientist Dr David Schudel, who specialises in fire investigation, told a jury at Newport Crown Court that a naked flame was the "most likely" cause of the fire, which ripped through the Cwmbran home.

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Latest News from Keith Borer Consultants

Forensic Update in Scotland, Ireland & Northern Ireland:

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Sexual offences – ‘consent or not’ and the case for forensics

In many sexual offences cases, the key issue is consent. Where possible the ‘evidence’ should not be confined to just one person’s word against another, with the jury left to decide who they believe. Currently in these cases, the prosecution forensic case is likely to be only that the defendant

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Forensic Science in Parliament

In January, February and March 2013, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has been hearing more evidence on the state of Forensic Science in England & Wales, since the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) last year. Rather worryingly, almost all panel members agreed

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Streamlined Forensic Reporting - the Forensic Expert perspective

Introduction

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Fingerprints Beyond Comparison

At Keith Borer Consultants we don’t just check the fingerprint identification, we examine the fingerprint evidence from a forensic perspective.

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More DNA Profiling Mix-Ups

You will no doubt have seen in the national press at the beginning of October the Forensic Regulator’s report into the contamination of DNA samples at LGC Forensics, which led to Adam Scott being charged with rape in Manchester, a city he had never been to. Now we have uncovered another equally

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Social Media and the Law

Recently there have been a number of high profile cases involving information posted on social networks. The abuse of Olympian Tom Daley, messages regarding missing schoolgirl April Jones, and the naming of Lord McAlpine in relation to false child abuse allegations have all been in the news. Th

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Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 has introduced a new offence of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving which came into force on 3rd December 2012. This new offence amends the Road Traffic Act 1988 by inserting the following after section 1:

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More Mix Ups at LGC: Drugs Analysis

We reported in May that LGC Forensics had erroneously reported DNA profiling results in two different cases (LINK). This latest mix up relates to drugs, discovered only when our expert, Richard Brown,

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Metal Particles: an Unusual Evidence Type?

Keith Borer Consultants was instructed recently in a case involving, unusually, metal particles. A cash machine had been cut open and a large quantity of cash stolen, but never recovered. The defendant’s car was placed near the scene by witness evidence and upon examination, the prosecution fou

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Provision of Footwear Evidence: Did you know?

History

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September 2012 Newsletter

Our September newsletter has just been published. In this issue:

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Digital Evidence – Publication of the fifth edition of the ACPO Guidelines

Although this publication is unlikely to hit the ‘must read’ list for most solicitors in criminal practice, the guidelines set out clearly the four principles for the acquisition and processing of digital evidence. Principle 3 reiterates that the record of how an examination has been undertaken

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Speed Enforcement using Laser Speedmeters

There are a number of methods used by the police in the enforcement of speed limits: for example; radar, VASCAR, lasers, cameras and the police speedometer.

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Footwear Marks – Intelligence or Evidence?

Typically, many police scenes of crime units perform a screening function on footwear mark evidence. An initial assessment is conducted to determine whether shoes which have been seized are similar (in pattern, size, wear and damage) to footwear marks recovered from a scene. This screening work

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Air Weapons and Firearms - Have Yours Been Tested?

Over the past year there has been an increase in forensic firearms work being carried out by the police using in-house force armourers.

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When Is An Image Indecent And When Is It Not?

The initial finding of indecent images on the computer should comprise the starting point of the investigation. Regrettably, this mere presence is sometimes put forward on its own as “conclusive” evidence.

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Expert Forensic Advice and Crim PR3.3(a)

The CPS 'Stop Delaying Justice' initiative can be helped by better visibility of forensic issues at the start of the trial process.

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Changes in Forensic Science – the unintended consequences

The last few years have seen major changes in the provision of forensic science to the Crown. From the monopoly of the Forensic Science Service, forensic supply to the prosecution is now divided between four main providers, several small players and the Police’s own internal laboratories.

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New Year... New Faces... More Expertise

2011 has already seen some significant changes at Keith Borer Consultants. Due to increased customer demand for our services we have recruited four new scientists to add to our team throughout the country. All these are employed on a full time basis by KBC.

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Hotpoint DWF70S Dishwasher Fire

One of the drawbacks of fire investigation is that we rarely see the start of a fire unless it’s during training. Many small fires are not reported, which is a shame as it is these small fires that are the tell tale of a major incident waiting to happen. Without investigation the subtle signs of

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Cut Price Forensics – The Potential Cost To Your Case

In mobile phone analysis, as in many other areas of forensic science, the pressures on police budgets mean that often the bare minimum of forensic work is being done by the prosecution but what is not being done could be critical to your defendant.

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The Scottish Fingerprint Inquiry: Report Published 14th December 2011

Sir Anthony Campbell and his team have produced a report that in our view is worthy of the time taken to produce it. Around two years after the last oral evidence was heard, the Inquiry team has published a well-written detailed document with clear findings and recommendations.

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DNA: A Cautionary Tale

Evidential evaluation of DNA profiling evidence received significant guidance from the Court of Appeal in R v Alan Grant [2008] EWCA Crim 18

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Computer Evidence: Not All is Lost

In a recent case, the defendant was charged with handling stolen goods. It was alleged she had been using a laptop computer which was stolen during a burglary in February 2011. The laptop was identified by the victim of the burglary and returned, however it appeared that the laptop had been ref

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Firearm or Imitation Firearm?

Rogers-v-Regina Court of Appeal 27th May 2011 Issues in case:

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Drug Profiling – Common Source: what does it actually mean to your case?

The prosecution often allege drugs have come from a common source, but what does this mean, how do they prove it and is it significant?

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Read all about it! Fingerprint Evidence in the News

Simon Bunter recently reviewed an arson case where burning newspaper was allegedly pushed through the letterbox of a hotel staff accommodation block.

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"Aha! Oho! A trail in the snow! Whose is this trail and where does it go?"

One of Dr Guy Cooper’s recent instructions could have been taken directly from Julia Donaldson’s popular children’s book “The Gruffalo’s Child”.

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Firearms Casework: All Change!

The current trend for providing Forensic Science expertise to the prosecution has swung away from a single all encompassing provider (The Forensic Science Service) to multiple small providers. This we have been told will provide a competitive market.

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Successful Outcome in the Court of Appeal

R vs E [2011] EWCA Crim 460 No: 201003792/B2

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Who should be on the National DNA Database … and who is?

The Coalition Government has recently announced under its Protection of Freedoms bill that the DNA profiles of individuals who have not been convicted of any crime will be deleted from the National DNA Database (NDNAD) in order to comply with the December 2008 ruling of the European Court

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Arson Cases: Is your client getting burnt?

A teenager is charged with arson with intent to endanger life, but had they arrested the wrong person? You would think something like this would not happen often, yet in four years we have seen five arson cases where the evidence, on close analysis, actually pointed to somebody else.

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Closure of the FSS - implications for defence examinations

The Forensic Science Service (FSS) developed within the Home Office as the sole provider of forensic services to police forces in England and Wales and for many years had a global reputation for its expertise, service provision and training. The FSS pioneered the development and implementation o

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Bebo screen shots – genuine or not?

Social networking websites and email accounts can provide useful information in criminal cases which previously rested on one person’s word against another’s. Such information is increasingly being used by both prosecution and defence.

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Court of Appeal ruling: indoor cannabis cultivation

A recent ruling from the Court of Appeal has put new light on indoor cannabis cultivation - how will this affect your case?

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Rise in Child Abuse Websites on the Internet?

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a charitable organisation established to provide a point of contact in the UK to report illegal content online, recently released their 2010 Annual Report. Their main goal is to take down or block websites containing indecent images of children.

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Digital evidence – friend or foe?

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Fingerprints in Paint

This article is posted with the permission of the Fingerprint Society. It was first published in Fingerprint Whorld, December 2007, Volume 34, Number 130, pages 21-23. Permission must be sought from The Fingerprint Society for anyone wishing to reprint/publish the article.

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1600W Halogen Heater – not necessarily a good fire source

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Forensic Science: Interpreting the evidence

Forensic science in cases is an interpretative exercise; it may not provide definitive evidence. That interpretation depends upon the specifics of the case.

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Cannabis valuation – art or science?

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Are you a careful driver?

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