Forensics Europe Expo: The Centre for Forensic Science - 2017

Thousands of professionals visited the Forensics Europe Expo conference earlier this year, bringing experience and knowledge from over 75 different countries.

The Forensics Europe Expo conference has established itself as one of the most important forums of debate for both the international and digital forensic communities. Senior opinion formers from all fields of forensic science attended the event in May for a two-day conference exploring the latest advances in this rapidly evolving discipline.

Key speakers at the 2017 conference included: Dr Gillian Tully (UK Forensic Science Regulator), Giles Herdale (Programme Director of the Digital Intelligence and National Investigation Programme, National Police Chiefs Council), Brian Donald (Europol), Marcel de Puit (Netherlands Forensic Institute), and Paul Young (National Crime Agency).

Day One: The digital forensic landscape - now and the future

The first day of the conference was dedicated to the changing digital forensic landscape with sessions covering all aspects of computer forensics from e-discovery and network analysis to mobile phone forensics and CCTV. The proceedings began with a special opening address from Forensic Science Regulatory for HM Government (UK), Gillian Tully, who is responsible for setting standards in forensic science in the UK. With over 25-years’ experience specializing in DNA, innovation, validation, and enhancement of quality standards, her experience has included provision of expert evidence to courts across the UK and overseas and extensive collaboration working with forensic partners around the world.

Crime has gone digital and the latest ONS figures show that cyber-crime and fraud are the new volume crimes. This is only part of the story according to Richard Berry, National Police Chiefs Council Lead for Digital Intelligence and Investigations Programme - Communications Data and the Investigatory Powers Act, who argues that the way we live our lives through technology means that virtually all crimes now have a digital element, leading to the adage "every crime scene is now a digital crime scene."

The afternoon sessions focussed more on forensics software with Bournemouth University’s Professor Matthew Bennett taking a look at "DigTrace: three-dimensional analysis of footwear traces." Footwear impressions provide an important source of evidence within a range of criminal investigations, with Bennett exploring the reasons for why in intricate detail.

Antti Kurittu, of the National Cyber Security Centre of Finland, followed with a unique presentation on "Kirjuri: An open-source digital forensic evidence management system." The NCSC-FI is a part of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, and Kurittu currently works with incident response at the national CERT and designing cyber exercises for critical infrastructure providers.

The end of the first day was closed by Peter Sommer, Head of Digital Forensics - Birmingham City University.

Day Two: The growing influence of forensics in criminal investigations

The second day of the conference explored the wider forensic landscape from laws and standards to new forensic techniques and innovations being used and developed across the world.

Europol’s Chief of Staff, Brian Donald, opened the second day of the conference by addressing "The growing and evolving role of forensic science in major international criminal investigations."

"The evolving investigative avenue of Familial DNA" was discussed by Jane Taylor-Barron, crime investigative support officer at the National Crime Agency. In her role, Taylor-Barron provides strategic and tactical advice to major and serious crime investigations being conducted by police forces or the National Crime Agency. This can involve providing investigative suggestions, linking the SIO in with peer support from around the country, advising regarding best practice and identifying and co-ordinating other specialist resources from within the NCA that may enhance an investigation.

The Netherlands Forensic Institute has developed a database, together with the police, for splinters of glass. The (trace) elemental composition of the glass may prove whether suspects of violent robberies or ATM raids were present at one or more crime scenes. Marcel de Puit from the Netherlands Forensic Institute lead an interesting discussion on "Fingerprints, the source and beyond - innovative research into the unique composition of fingerprints."

Michael Allard, a former detective at Massachusetts Police Department, also took a look at "Forensic mapping of crime scenes using laser technology," providing a comprehensive look into modern crime scene mapping technologies and will discuss the pros and cons of modern mapping tools. Since the history of crime scene investigation, the concern was how to best visualize the scene to the jury.

There are many cases worldwide involving the missing and the disappeared. The ongoing search for clandestine graves, the families given hope when a possible location has been found, only to learn that it was another negative result. Addressing this was Dr Carole Davenport, a forensic anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, who hosted a session on "Searching for clues: how a combined approach comprising forensic anthropology, archaeology and geology disciplines can breathe new life into crime scene investigations."

About Forensics Europe Expo

Forensics Europe Expo (FEE) is the only international exhibition and conference dedicated to forensic science. The event, held each year at London Olympia, provides a definitive source of training, education, best practice, and networking. With over 80 international exhibitors, the show provides a unique 360 degree viewpoint of the entire forensics industry from scene of crime and laboratory equipment to the latest digital forensic software and forensic analytics.

To register your interest to attend the next conference, please visit 

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