Forensic Chemistry, Marks, Fires & Explosion Investigations

The analysis of marks, left at scenes of crime or on items, can make a significant contribution to forensic investigation and our team are experts in the assessment and comparison of a wide range of impressions, from fingerprints to paw marks. We are able to deliver a full enhancement and photographic service from our specialist laboratories as well as comprehensive scene and case review services.

We will compare recovered and reference marks and, where possible, provide an opinion on positioning, which in some cases can provide a useful context. Using our expertise in other areas, such as post mortem examination, trace evidence interpretation (glass, paint, soil etc.), ballistics and body fluids our scientists can provide advice to ensure that the most appropriate strategy is employed to obtain “best evidence”.

Depending upon the circumstances, it may often be necessary to consider other evidence types, including the transfer of glass, blood, hairs, soil and pollen as well as establishing whether an individual is the habitual wearer of a pair of shoes through podiatry (“foot in shoe analysis”) or DNA transfer and we can assist in all of these areas. Critically, in the context of the expert witness, our scientists will produce a report which provides a robust assessment of the level of association between the questioned mark and its potential maker and, in the absence of the latter, will endeavour to provide useful intelligence regarding what could have made the mark that was recovered.

Our specialist laboratories are accredited to ISO17025 for footwear comparison, opinions and interpretation. 

Fire and explosion investigations

It is not unusual for individuals to try to conceal their actions with fire and we are able to offer a full scene and review service in relation to fires and explosions. Through forensic investigation, our experts can determine the origin and cause of a fire, conduct analysis to establish if accelerants were used to initiate fire and assess burn patterns at the scene and on clothing. In conjunction with our pathology services we can also provide an opinion on thermal injuries to animals including an assessment of soot and smoke distribution or inhalation.