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Latent Fingerprints

Generally, the term „latent print“ is used for all types of prints resulting from the transfer of small, hardly visible amounts of skin secretion and dirt. As the prints of the friction ridge pattern on the tip of the finger usually give the most important clues to the investigator, „latent prints“ are almost equivalent to the fingerprint itself.

Other prints used as investigative leads are palm prints and foot prints. In some cases even the surface of a glove is known to have left a latent print which led to apprehension of a suspect.



Forensic footwear evidence can be used in legal proceedings to help prove that a shoe was at a crime scene. Footwear evidence is often the most abundant form of evidence at a crime scene and in some cases can prove to be as specific as a fingerprint. Initially investigators will look to identify the make and model of the shoe or trainer which made an impression. This can be done visually or by comparison with evidence in a database both methods focus heavily on pattern recognition and brand or logo marks. Information about the footwear can be gained from the analysis of wear patterns which are dependent on angle of footfall and weight distribution. Detailed examination of footwear impressions can help to link a specific piece of footwear to a footwear imprint as each shoe will have unique characteristics.



The result of contact between a tool and a surface is a toolmark.

Toolmarks may provide intelligence regarding the type of tool used and where applicable, dimensions such as tip width or drill bit diameter. As tools are used, cutting edges and tips will wear and acquire random damage. The degree and distribution of damage present will produce a pattern of striations that has the potential to be characteristic.




Biological traces


Investigation kits


Marking and Photographing


Fingerprint taking


Forensic Equipment