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The forensic analysis of sediments recovered from footwear

Morgan, RM; Freudiger-Bonzon, J; Nichols, KH; Jellis, T; Dunkerley, S; Zelazowski, P; Bull, PA; (2009) The forensic analysis of sediments recovered from footwear. In: Ritz, K and Dawson, L and Miller, D, (eds.) Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics. (pp. 253-269). Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Green open access

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Abstract

The forensic analysis of sediments recovered from footwear has the potential to yield much useful information concerning the movements of a person before, during and after a crime has taken place. Three experimental studies and a number of examples of forensic casework provide insight into the complexity of the spatial distribution of geoforensic materials on the soles of footwear and the persistence of these materials over time on the soles and uppers. These findings have implications for both the geoforensic sampling protocols and procedures for footwear submitted for analysis in a criminal investigation and also for the analysis of any materials recovered. The preservation of sediment on a shoe sole will vary, with certain areas generally retaining more sediment than others. The sequential layering of sediments that have been transferred to the shoe will be preserved in some cases and in certain areas, but generally undergoes complex mixing. Such mixing of sediment from different sources occurs both across the shoe sole and also through time. It is therefore important to be aware of these variations when taking samples for analysis if representative samples are to be taken and meaningful interpretation of any analysis derived is to be effected. Furthermore, such mixing of pre-, syn- and post-forensic event sources has implications for the appropriateness of different analytical techniques. Visual identification techniques which are able to identify where such mixing has taken place are preferred to forms of analysis that require homogenisation of the sample prior to analysis, as this reduces the possibility of false negative or positive associations when undertaking comparison of samples in a forensic context. The context within which any sampling or analysis is undertaken is crucial for a meaningful and accurate interpretation of the geoforensic evidence.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The forensic analysis of sediments recovered from footwear
ISBN-13: 9781402092039
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9204-6_16
Language: English
Additional information: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/57587
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