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Handwriting Comparison and Questioned Document Examination


Dorothy Allan, Louise Floate and Karen Caramiello are highly experienced forensic scientists who are experts in:

  • Handwriting comparison / analysis

  • Signature comparisons / forgery

  • ESDA examination for indented impressions

  • Document Examination

  • Ink comparison

All three experts worked at the Forensic Science Service (FSS) for over 25 years where they received comprehensive training in this specialist field. Louise was also head of one of the national document examination teams whilst employed by the FSS.

They are instructed by Solicitors and private individuals in both criminal and civil matters and in a wide variety of casework ranging from complex fraud cases to anonymous letters. They have frequently acted as Single Joint Experts and have attended Court to give evidence on numerous occasions.

As with all new enquiries received at KBC, our experts will discuss your requirements, advise on the best course of action to maximise results and provide a no obligation estimate of costs.

Handwriting experts compare a piece of writing, using scientific principles, with handwriting samples from the person suspected of writing it. An opinion on authorship is given based on the results of this comparison. The amount of writing may affect the strength of opinion given but the examination of even very small amounts of writing can offer an opinion beneficial to the case in question.

It is also possible to compare two pieces of handwriting with each other to establish common authorship, enabling the question 'Did the same person write these two documents?' to be addressed.

An expert in signature analysis can compare a disputed signature with a set of specimen signatures and offer an opinion of authorship based on their findings. We are frequently instructed to examine signatures on documents such as Wills, Mortgage and Loan Application forms and Benefit forms to determine whether or not they may have been forged.

Indented impressions may be present on a document. We have the equipment (ESDA) to visualise and produce a permanent record of these impressions. Such impressions can be used for intelligence purposes, in handwriting comparisons and to determine the sequence of writing.

A Video Spectral Comparator (VSC) is an imaging device useful for the comparison of inks, revealing alterations and visualising hidden security features. If alterations and obliterations have been made using a pen with ink of a different composition to the original entries, then the VSC may detect these differences, even if the inks are visually similar.

Please follow the clickable links for guidance on obtaining handwriting and signature samples, and lined and unlined templates for samples.

If you are a CrimeLine subscriber, our Handwriting v Graphology podcast is HERE.

The Handwriting Experts can be found on Facebook - see their page HERE. And they have a standalone website - see HERE.