Use of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigation

Use of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigation

BY SIFS India | December 14, 2021

Use of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigation

Crime has existed for ages. The police and the government must keep the surroundings crime-free by keeping a check on the criminal activities.

But with the advent of technology, criminals' methods to commit crime have also become high-tech. As a result, age-old crime-solving techniques are no longer effective in detecting the crime or the criminals. 

So, here comes the use of forensic science in a criminal investigations. It acts as a powerful tool for law enforcement agencies to give the correct verdict.

Without its help, it is nearly impossible for the police to gather evidence and information from the crime scene that can throw light on what occurred during the crime.

Forensic science uses several tools and techniques to find, identify, collect, and evaluate the physical evidence to support the judiciary. 

Here in this article, we will see what forensic science is, what role the forensic science team plays in solving crime, and why forensic science is an essential part of criminal investigation.

What is Forensic Science?

The word ‘forensic’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘forenses’ that means forum. A forum was a public place where views, ideas, or debates related to judicial proceedings were held. Thus the term forensic relates to the judicial system or court.

Combined with science, it means the application of several scientific methods to investigate and solve crimes. Forensic science deals with collecting, preserving, and analyzing the evidence suitable enough to prosecute an offender in a court of law. 

Today forensic evidence is wildly recognized worldwide by the legal system to punish a criminal offender. With the use of scientific methods and techniques, there is no room left for injustice.

Role of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigation 

Forensic science plays an essential role in criminal investigation. Without it, you can never convict a criminal unless an eyewitness is present.

Evidence, whether physical or digital, are collected by detectives or investigating agencies. However, forensic science experts' analysis is done to make them acceptable in the court of law.

Hence, in the absence of forensic science, all the criminals will be roaming free.

A team of several forensic scientists is involved in investing in a criminal case. Each expert is assigned a specific task. A forensic scientist bears huge responsibilities during a criminal investigation.

It is their responsibility to examine the evidence carefully and also ensure that it is not interfered with.

Following are a few significant areas in which the investigating officers make their contribution:

Field Experts: They collect, preserve, and transport physical evidence from the crime scene related to the crime to the forensic lab. They also take photographs or shoot videos of the crime scene.

Lab Experts: They analyze and perform chemical, biological, and scientific analysis on the evidence collected by the field experts and establish a link between the criminal activity and the suspect.

Latent Print Examiners: They examine fingerprints, footprints, and palm prints lifted from the crime scene. These prints are unique. No two individuals possess the same patterns. So, careful analysis provides powerful evidence to decide whether the suspect was present at the crime scene.

Firearm Examiners: They compare bullet and shell casings found at the crime scene to analyze the type of gun used and whether the same weapon has been a part of any past crime.

Tool Marks Examiners: They examine the tools and the items bearing tool marks to check whether the questioned mark has been produced by the same device found at the crime scene.

Questioned Document Examiners: They examine the documents to establish their authenticity. It is their responsibility to check for alterations, obliterations, erasures, or other clues to check whether the document is genuine.

Trace Evidence Examiners: They analyze trace evidence, such as hair, glass particles, soil, gunshot residues, body fluids, and several unknown substances that occur due to the physical contact between the victim and a suspect during the happening of the crime.

Pathologists: They are responsible for examining the dead bodies of people who faced unexpected or sudden death. They also identify the cause behind death and the way it took place.

Anthropologists: Forensic anthropologists play an essential role in identifying the body by examining human remains or skeletons to determine the age, gender, height, and race of the deceased. They also identify and explore injuries to establish the time since death.

Odontologists: They perform dental identification by analyzing bite marks (animal or human) that may occur due to domestic violence, physical assault, or self-defense. The findings are compared with the dental records or with the suspect dentitions.

Entomologists: They are involved in studying the life cycle of insects that are found on dead bodies to establish the time since death. 

Cyber Experts: They use several tools and methods to recover, analyze, and present facts related to the lost, hidden or deleted electronic data, such as images, internet use history, files, and information. 

Final Words

With each passing year, many more new forensic science laboratories have come up in the country. It indicates the increasing use of forensic science in criminal investigation to speed up the criminal justice process. 

However, across India, a massive number of cases still need to be solved. For this, there is a need for many more private forensic science labs and trained professionals.

Why private labs?

Because government labs usually take a long time to deliver the report, which delays justice to the victim.

Sherlock Institute of Forensic Sciences, India (Forensic Science lab & Training Institute) – A Notable Contributor to the Indian Forensic Arena

SIFS INDIA got established in 2006. It is a renowned ISO 9001:2015 & 10002:2014 certified private forensic science laboratory and training academy registered with the Govt. of India. 

It is on a mission to contribute to solving criminal cases and bridge the gap between demand and supply of trained forensic specialists. 

Its expertise lies in investigating and solving criminal cases by providing Expert Services in cases relating to Document Examination, Fingerprint Analysis, Cyber Forensic Investigation, Insurance Investigation, Forensic Biology, Key and Accident Reconstruction, Forensic Facial Imaging, Forensic Support, etc.

Apart from these services, they also serve the nation by educating aspiring students to become Forensic Experts in the shortest span. Several Certificates, Diplomas, and PG Diploma Courses are available both Online and Offline mode. Along with these regular workshops, summer and winter internships are part of their education program. 

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