Sunday, December 6, 2020

New technology identifies the ‘fingerprint’ of a bullet

It’s a global game changer for gun crime. University forensic scientists developed new technology that means every bullet could be traced back to where it came from.

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Michael Whyte
Crime Scene Officer and Fingerprint Expert with over 12 years experience in Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Analysis. The opinions or assertions contained on this site are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as those of any professional organisation or policing body.
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In a global game changer for gun crime, Flinders University forensic scientists have for the first time matched gunshot residue with specific brands of ammunition.

Flinders University’s Professor Paul Kirkbride, who is leading the research, said it will be a breakthrough for law enforcement agencies who have previously been unable to link some suspects with crime scenes.

“We’ve shown matching characteristics in the residue left on the shooter, in the wound and in the specific batch or brand of ammunition,” said Professor Kirkbride.

“This is like a fingerprint, which doesn’t change before, during or after the gun is fired.

The Flinders University team has been using some of the most advanced technology in Australia.

The team collaborated with SA Police, Forensic Science SA, ChemCentre WA, Dr John Denman from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute, leading Australian technology developers Australian Scientific Instruments and Dr Charles Magee of Geoscience Australia, to take their analysis to a level of detail never seen before.

“Eventually we hope to provide law enforcement agencies with the ability to identify not only the brand of ammunition, but also the location of manufacture and points of distribution, which all contribute significantly towards identifying the purchaser,” Professor Kirkbride said.

You can read more about this research ­here. (Story credit: Flinders University newsroom)

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