Last year, Dstl launched a Collaborative Exercise (CE) funded by the Home Office and supported by the Forensic Science Regulator. To our knowledge, this national CE is the first of its kind within the UK for the field of fingermark visualisation. It is based on similar exercises run by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) Fingerprint Working Group. The driver for such an exercise is to raise standards by sharing knowledge and exchanging experiences and, from Dstl’s perspective, it will help us identify where the Fingermark Visualisation Manual (FVM) guidance could be improved.

The exhibit chosen for this exercise was wrapping paper, as it can be a challenging substrate for fingermark visualisation due to its semi-porous characteristics. Exercise packs containing the exhibit were sent to 24 participants from across the UK in February 2020 and participants were asked to treat the item as major crime exhibit. A virtual workshop on Part 1 of the exercise will be held in 1st July 2021 from 1330 – 1600hrs, to present the results and have lively discussions on recovery approaches, successes, problems etc. The workshop will be of particular relevance to staff in the Fingerprint Enhancement Laboratories but it is open to all; it will still be hugely beneficial to attend even if your laboratory was unable to participate in the CE this time round.

If you would like to attend the event please contact Carolyn Lovell.