Fingermark Detection and identification: Current Research Efforts


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The detection, comparison and identification of fingerprints remains one of the best means of linking an individual with a scene or an item related to a criminal investigation. While many methods exist for the detection and enhancement of fingermark evidence on common substrates, significant ongoing research is being directed at improved sensitivity via new approaches or the optimisation of existing methods. Current techniques may be ineffective for the detection of weak fingermarks, or may not reveal sufficient ridge detail to permit an identification. In addition, surfaces still remain where fingermark detection is problematic (e.g. human skin). The identification of fingermarks has come under significant scrutiny over the last decade, particularly with respect to the perceived lack of fundamental research and the subjective nature of current fingermark identification practices. Significant effort is being directed at these issues by a number of research groups around the world. The International Fingerprint Research Group (IFRG) holds biennial meetings to discuss current research and present research findings related to fingermark evidence. The purpose of this article is to summarise the fingermark detection and identification research presented at the 2011 and 2013 meetings of this group
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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