Fingerprint is a unique pattern and is of various types such as a human fingerprint, machine tool mark, digital fingerprint of a computer, etc. Based on the nature’s principle that no two person, even identical twins share the same fingerprint, and the probability of the fingerprints of two different people matching being 1 among 3 trillion and the population on earth is only about 7.4 billion, this underlying principle can be used by forensic professionals to identify a person, conduct background checks, use as biometric security, etc. For more than a century, fingerprints are used as a reliable form of evidence to identify suspects, solve crimes by proving the perpetrator’s existence and link the person to any other previous crimes. Fingerprint detection, collection and analysis is quite a challenge and also, involves looking at the quality and quantity of information available in the fingerprint to match the collected prints with the known ten-prints, and for this an experienced and qualified forensic fingerprint expert has to be consulted.
Locating fingerprints from Scene of Crime
Locating a fingerprint often requires a vigilant and calculated search. However, in circumstances where the print is visible to the naked eye, finding a fingerprint is relatively easy.
The type of fingerprint left behind usually determines the amount of time and effort investigators must put into locating the print. The type of surface being searched for fingerprints often determines the technique employed.
Photographing and Lifting for further examination
A photograph captures where the print was located in comparison to other objects and captures the orientation of the print. Further, a photograph can serve as a key piece of identification of a patent or plastic print and can be used to compare and possibly match the print to its source.
Photographing the print’s location at the crime scene also guards against tampering of evidence. “Lifting a fingerprint” means to make a permanent impression of the fingerprint. Lifting a print can be accomplished on either flat surfaces or round surfaces. After the print is lifted, it is converted into digital data that can be modified to create a clearer image.
Analysis and Comparison
Comparisons are performed by viewing the known and suspect prints side-by-side. The comparison of minutiae characteristics and locations to determine if they match. Known prints are often collected from persons of interest, victims, others present at the scene or through a search of one or more fingerprint databases.
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