- CASEWORK SERVICESLaboratory services
- BPABlood Pattern Analysis
- COLD CASE REVIEWSThere is no time limit to define a cold case
- FOOTWEARFootwear and footwear marks
- FIRE INVESTIGATIONIdentifying origin, cause and development
- GLASSOne of the most common sample types to be submitted
- GSRGunshot Residue
- PAINTProvides effective, often conclusive evidence
- TEXTILES - FIBRES & DAMAGEAn important & specialised part of forensic casework
- HAIRProvides valuable clues to identity
- TYRE MARKSTyre wear and damage can provide vital evidence
- TOOLS & TOOLMARKSEach tool has a unique microscopic character
- SCENE ATTENDANCEA nationwide service
The transfer of paint fragments (and associated particulate materials) has the potential to provide effective evidence.
The transfer of paint fragments (and associated particulate materials) has the potential to provide conclusive evidence of association between suspects or items (e.g. a damaged window frame at the scene of a burglary, road traffic collisions, criminal damage and assaults).
Fragments and particulates
When a dry painted surface is damaged small fragments of paint can be produced. These fragments can transfer to the clothing or footwear of a person causing the damage or to someone who comes into contact with the paintwork subsequent to its damage.
These fragments can be made up of many different layers and as a result the sequences of layers can be highly characteristic, if not unique. Microscopic fragments or smears of paint can be compared with the suspected origin using a range of microscopic, chemical and spectroscopic methods.
Any loosely adhering fragments will tend to be lost from clothing with the passage of time - the majority of any fragments transferred are normally lost within a matter of a few hours under normal circumstances. Similarly, fragments loosely adhering to any item or implement are not expected to persist for very long if the item is in use.
Therefore, the number of paint fragments found and their location can be a very useful means of indicating when the contact with the source of damaged paint occurred and the extent of the contact in question.
Skilled operatives have experience of recovering paint and particulate materials from a range of different items and are experienced in the examination of vehicles. The smallest of fragments found can be recovered and subjected to detailed microscopic examinations to consider the fragment’s characteristics and any paint layer sequences. Appropriate spectroscopic and chemical testing is also undertaken when applicable to complement the highly discriminating microscopic methods used to compare these materials.
The range of skills available allows the significance of the paint findings to be considered in the context of other findings, such as tool marks, fibres or glass, and ensure robust, reliable results and assured interpretation of the findings in the context of each case.
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