Fingerprints are marks imprinted on the face of an object as a result of the fingers being pressed against such surface – This imprint is majorly aided by the rough markings (which are unique to different people) on a person’s fingers.
The prints left by the finger can be technically collected for the purpose of extracting data or storing data about the print’s owner. There are times when fingerprints are required for certain purposes and the prints are collected using substances like ink.
When the ink is rubbed on the finger, it makes a clear imprint of the unique finger markings on whatever surface that the print is to be transferred onto. The print surface and print visibility are used in classifying prints – we have latent, patent, and 3D prints.
Short History of Fingerprint Evidence
We cannot talk about the use of fingerprints, when it comes to crime-solving, without acknowledging the very first case that deployed this investigative method in catching a perp and unequivocally holding him responsible for his crimes – the name of the offender, in this case, was Thomas Jennings.
His prints were collected from a railing at the home of Clarence Hiller whom he was accused of murdering. The prints collected from the railing played a major role in bringing Thomas to justice. 100 years later, fingerprints are still being used across the globe to bring law offenders to justice – fingerprints are also used for several other purposes aside from this.
How Are Fingerprints Collected?
Depending on what category the fingerprints fall under, they are usually collected with various methods. If the fingerprint is Latent in nature, that means the print is not visible. Before such a print can be collected from the level surface it sits on, the forensic expert has to smoothly apply some chemical substances and powders across the area that the fingerprint covers.
The application of the powder enables the fingerprint to become visible after the surplus powder on the surface has been extracted. The print can now be collected and secured by using the appropriate equipment and techniques.
If the print is Patent in nature, it will be visible to the eyes. This is usually because the print was transferred onto the level surface with the aid of an imprinting substance like blood or oil. Patent prints can easily be photographed and referenced later.
For 3D prints, the extraction process is usually more tedious because they have to be collected from surfaces like clothing. There are certain equipment and techniques that are deployed by professionals in extracting 3D prints.
Identifying a Person with the Help of Fingerprints
If you’ve ever heard the term “dactyloscopy”, it refers to the studying of the unique inner markings on both the hands and feet for the purpose of identifying an individual from these unique prints.
To be able to successfully establish a particular individual as the owner of some fingerprints, the extracted prints must have been studied and accurately matched with fresh prints directly collected from the individual.
The whole process that has to be passed through before Forensic experts can be certain of a fingerprint match is very tedious. The process involves analysis, comparisons, evaluations, and verification – where some key print-details like dots, islands, and ridge-endings have to be studied. If you want extra details on the fingerprint identification process, feel free to check out the Australian Federal Police website for more information – https://www.australianpolice.com.au/dactyloscopy/fingerprint-identification/
You might have heard before that every human being has unique prints on both their hands and feet. This fact is what makes fingerprint identification a very potent tool in the Forensics world – they give unequivocal evidence of the individual who might have perpetrated a crime.
Fingerprints, which naturally remain unaltered all through a person’s life span, are well-detailed and can serve long-term purposes in a criminal investigation. Fingerprints have undeniably made things easier for officers of the law.
In Australia, there are several criminal trials that make use of fingerprint identification – in the year 2016 Victoria, the Australian State, had over ten thousand instances where extracted prints were matched to suspects. It is also common in several countries for fingerprints to be collected and stored whenever a perp is brought into the station. There are databases that store collected prints for law enforcement agencies.
These databases are made use of when a particular print from a crime scene needs to be cross-referenced with other prints for a possible match. Anyone whose prints have been collected before may get implicated if their prints are found at another crime scene.
When to Hire a Private Investigator for Fingerprint Analysis?
Investigators Australia has qualified professionals in the Forensics field who know how to extract and analyse fingerprints evidence based on the category that the prints fall into.
The extracted prints are preserved in such a way that it can be unequivocally presented to the court as evidence of a crime’s perpetrator. If you feel the urge to call for investigative service, you need to do so as soon as possible because fingerprints can easily get compromised if they are not extracted on time.
The first step in fingerprint analysis is determining whether or not there is actually a fingerprint on surfaces at the crime scene. The prints might have been left on a safe, doorknob, table, office desk, clothes, files, and several other surfaces at the scene of the crime. If it has been established that a print was left at the crime scene, our Forensic experts will immediately get to work and extract the prints neatly from the surface. The extracted prints will also be analysed to provide a possible match.
If need be, the secured prints will be handed over to law enforcement officers in a bid to catch the crime’s perpetrator. Our team of Forensic specialists is well trained and can deploy fingerprint analysis in unequivocally identifying the crime suspect. Always remember to reach out for help immediately you suspect possible fingerprint marks left behind at the crime scene.