Problems of Forensic Sciences 2014 Vol. 97 (XCVII) 5-13


Rakesh K. GARG, Harry PAL, Ramanjit KAUR
Department of Forensic Science, Punjabi University, Patiala, India

Visualization of latent fingerprints has always been a significant field in forensic science research. Different chemicals/powders have been tried from time to time for visualization of latent fingerprints by different scientists. The present study consisted of two parts. First of all, latent fingerprints were developed on twenty different substrates using common, easily available, inexpensive and simple material – white cement powder (used for fixing floor tiles) – by the powder dusting method. In the second part, the ageing of latent fingerprints was studied by developing sets of latent fingerprints after particular time intervals with the help of white cement and (conventional) white powder: the clarity of prints developed using the white cement was compared in relation to results achieved using the conventional powder (white powder), which is widely used in fingerprint development. For this part of the study, four different substrates were chosen: blue carbon paper, plastic sheet, coloured papers, and plywood. In total, four sets were prepared in order to study ageing for 40 days. Each set consisted of carbon paper, coloured paper, plastic sheet and plywood. Latent prints were developed at 10 day intervals for each set. The latent prints were taken from individuals who had profuse sweating (and, in addition, latent prints were taken from persons who sweated less, though in the latter case, only fresh prints were used). It was interesting to find that the cement powder used gave very clear results on fourteen different substrates among the twenty tested. The ridges and the furrows were clearly visible, and so it could be concluded that cement powder can be used as an alternative (agent) for visualization of finger marks in forensic investigations, particularly when other powders are not available. It was also found that latent prints were developed very clearly with white cement on carbon paper, even after 40 days, when conventional white powder fails to do so.

Słowa kluczowe
Forensic science; Latent finger marks; Powder dusting; White cement powder; Substrates.

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