A methodology for finger mark research
Currently there is no standard way of carrying out research into finger mark enhancement techniques. Individuals, groups or establishments tend to use different methodologies depending on a number of factors, especially finance and time. However, data published in the literature can be misleading to the forensic community if the data generated reflects research involving very few finger marks or if those finger marks have been deliberately doped with an unnatural balance of sweat or an unusual contaminant. This paper presents an experimental methodology which is intended to establish minimum standards for those carrying out finger mark enhancement research (at least within the United Kingdom) and bring some consistency to the process. It will aim to identify the many variables encountered when dealing with finger marks and suggest experimental methods to take these into account. It will also present the key stages of the progression of a process from a laboratory concept to a tool used on operational work.