WHAT IS TRACE EVIDENCE?
Trace evidence refers to a sub-part or component of a material, or small, often microscopic amounts of material not readily visible to the naked eye. Trace evidence is usually transferred through physical contact during the commission of a crime or occurrence of an incident. Trace evidence services include:
- Explosives analysis
- Fibre examination
- Glass examination
- Ignitable liquid residue analysis
- Paint examination
- Soil examination
- Gunshot residue (GSR) analysis
PURPOSE OF TRACE EVIDENCE EXAMINATION
The purpose of the analysis is three-fold:
- identify the trace material,
- determine whether an association can be established between persons, objects and places, and
- determine the significance and strength of this association.
WHERE CAN TRACE EVIDENCE BE FOUND?
Trace evidence is often found on gross evidence. For example: paint material on a crowbar tip, ignitable liquid residues on fire debris, glass fragments on a pedestrian involved in a traffic accident, gunshot residues on a suspected shooter’s clothes.
RECOVERY AND EXAMINATION OF TRACE EVIDENCE
Trace evidence is transient and has to be recovered as soon as possible to obtain the best results. Owing to its small size, microscopic techniques in the forensic laboratory are often necessary to visualise, recover and analyse trace evidence. Laboratory analysis is usually time-consuming and laborious, and requires trained and experienced personnel who are well-versed in the techniques and possess specific domain knowledge.
VALUE OF TRACE EVIDENCE
Practically every crime/incident involves trace evidence in one form or other. Additionally, transfer of trace evidence is often not obvious to the persons involved in the crime. Hence, trace evidence is unlikely to be completely absent for any case. The limiting factor would be human failure to find it, understand and interpret it in relation to the crime scene where it was discovered. The significance of the evidence depends on several factors, such as the uniqueness of the evidence and the number of associations established for different types of evidence.
To find out more, read our article “Trace Evidence – A Primer for Lawyers” featured in the Singapore Law Gazette, Jul 2015
WHAT OUR EXPERTS CAN DO FOR YOU
Our experienced forensic scientists employ the use of state-of-the-art analytical equipment to perform trace evidence examinations. Our findings and opinions are stated in a formal report that can be tendered in Court as evidence. As forensic consultants, we can assist you through the maze of evidence and other facets of your case preparation. We can provide a clear understanding of the evidence and the proper forensic procedures required by the specific evidence. We can also independently evaluate the raw analytical data and processes that a forensic laboratory relied on to reach their conclusions.
WHY THE FORENSIC EXPERTS GROUP?
Our experienced forensic scientists set up trace evidence capabilities in the Singapore government forensic laboratory. They are well recognised by the Singapore Courts for their expertise in this forensic science discipline.
If you have a case or valid mitigating factors, let objective forensic evidence speak up on your behalf. Let TFEG’s experts assist you in your case and provide you with sound and independent advice.
Please call us at 6459 0494 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.