Tool Kit: Trace Evidence Analysis

Here's a few tools to aid in finding, comparing, and documenting trace evidence.

Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope

The Leeds’ Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope (LCT) is designed to analyze the critical comparison of specimens such as hair, fibers, and paint chips. The LCT’s high-quality optical system provides superior color and intensity balance, requiring no adjustment by the operator. Providing a large 22mm field of view and an erect, unreversed image, the LCT allows the operator to quickly and easily manipulate specimens for examination. With the LCT, two specimens can be viewed as split-field, superimposed, or individual images. Separate, bridge-marked slide controls allow for continuous adjustment from 100% of the left image to 100% of the right image.

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Workstation for Trace Evidence Analysis

A flexible, multi-functional workstation for trace evidence analysis, the ffTA provides numerous analytical facilities on a single microscope, operated through a single PC. Using ffTA modules — including Glass RI Measurement, Raman Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Imaging, UV-Vis-IR Microspectroscopy, and Polarised Light Microscopy — laboratory examiners are able to extract the maximum amount of forensic evidence in the shortest time possible. The core ffTA workstation includes a DM2700 microscope connected to a high-specification Windows PC, providing a basic microscopy and image processing system. Any number of ffTA modules can be selected alongside the core system to provide the user with further functionality.

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This article appeared in the January-February 2020 issue of Evidence Technology Magazine.
You can view that issue here.

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Interview with an Expert

One of the more specialized areas of crime-scene investigation has to do with searching for evidence of arson. To get some background in this area, we spoke with an individual who has had more than 46 years in fire service, 24 of which have focused specifically on fire/arson investigation.