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Crime

Criminal Liability for Non-Aggressive Death

August 27, 2008 The crime of manslaughter exists as a 'catch-all offence' to punish those who are blameworthy in causing the death of another but whose culpability falls short of that required for murder. Manslaughter is an extremely broad offence and it has a difficult task in ensuring that all those who warrant punishment for 'non-aggressive' deaths are convicted. Simultaneously, it should not be too broad in covering those who do not warrant punishment for such deaths. There is little consistency in whether a particular dangerous activity leads to liability for a specific offence or for the generic offence of manslaughter when death is caused. This new book, entitled “Criminal Liability for Non-Aggressive Death” examines the current law and includes a variety of perspectives on the subject with chapters on specific modes of killing as well as issues that permeate all areas.  Read More

New technique lifts fingerprints off cleaned guns

Wiping the gun clean has long been considered best practice for villains but may soon become a quaint custom that will ultimately prove fruitless. Researchers have developed a method to ‘visualize fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed by measuring the corrosion of the surface by deposits from the fingerprints. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small caliber metal cartridge case before it is fired. The technique promises the ability to reopen many cases and solve cold cases around the world because the “underlying print never disappears” according to the scientists.  Read More

UAHuntsville researcher David Pollock

Researchers at the University of Alabama (UAH) have developed a wide-angle camera that will assist security forces by enabling them to monitor large areas through high-resolution images taken from a satellite or an airborne craft. The proposed one giga-pixel camera was created after UAH researcher, David Pollock, discovered that if you point a large number of lenses toward a common point, and then make a small correction on each of the lenses, you have a camera with capabilities that far surpass existing technologies.  Read More

Oxygen isotope levels in human hair

February 27, 2008 DNA contained in hair is currently used in crime fighting to determine the identity of those who commit illicit acts. Thanks to new research, hair may now also help police track past movements of criminal suspects or unidentified murder victims by revealing the general location where a person drank water.  Read More

ShotSpotter dispatch desk

October 12, 2007 When battling gun related crime, police are often faced with the problem of being unable to pinpoint the direction or proximity of overheard gunfire. In order to combat this issue over a wide area, the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System uses acoustical triangulation to accurately detect incidences of gunfire and combines this with an integrated camera network to provide law enforcement with instant situation reports. After its celebrated role in capturing the Columbus sniper of 2003/2004, 20 major US cities, most recently Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have adopted the ShotSpotter GLS as a tool to combat gun related crime and as a deterrent against future crimes.  Read More

New technology accurately identifies imperfect fingerprints

October 9, 2007 Current technology is limited and time consuming in correctly identifying people from partial, distorted, scratched, smudged, or otherwise warped fingerprints. Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have now devised a way of recognizing these types of prints in just a few seconds.  Read More

Not smart - a British driver has been clocked at 172 mph in a Porsche 911 Turbo (note: ima...

September 27, 2007 The road is not a racetrack - but if it was, Britain would have a new national champion. Londoner Tim Brady is now serving a 10-week jail sentence after being clocked at a record 172mph (277 kmh) in a Porsche (not pictured) he borrowed from his employer – that’s 16mph faster than the previous four-wheeled record holder.  Read More

Video Investigator screen

September 19, 2007 We’ve all seen the seemingly ubiquitous eye in the sky cameras watching us from store ceilings and most of us have probably wondered if anyone actually monitors those things. In an effort to improve the efficiency of such surveillance, Intellivid has developed a Computer Aided Tracking (CAT) tool that incorporates a newly patented adjacency algorithm. The technology uses sophisticated video analytics to streamline video surveillance, giving the ability to seamlessly track in-store movements and create complete end-to-end footage.  Read More

Fingerprinting could now reveal more than just a name

August 7, 2007 Imagine if a single fingerprint could reveal the diet, race and sex of a suspected criminal. As far fetched as the proposition sounds, it might soon become a reality according to new research published in the August edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry. The new technique collects fingerprints along with their chemical residue - containing a few millionths of a gram of fluid - and keeps it intact for future reference. These residues can be found on all fingerprints and could be used to identify traces of items people came in contact with such as gunpowder, narcotics and biological or chemical weapons, as well as potentially being used to pin-point specific traits - like a persons sex or aspects of their diet - through spectroscopic analysis. Imperial scientists led by Professor Sergei Kazarian from Imperial College London’s Department of Chemical Engineering found that the use of commercial gelatine based tape provides a simple method for collection and transportation of prints for chemical imaging analysis.  Read More

It’s Apple Mac-Guyver: pocket sized detective tool hacks into computers

May 4, 2007 SubRosaSoft’s MacLockPick is a USB sized gizmo that can extract passwords, e-mail addresses, recently accessed files, search strings, bookmarks and internet history from running or sleeping computers. But the US$499 device can only penetrate the defences of Macs running OSX – apparently, anyone who manages to build an empire of crime using Windows deserves to keep it. The “live forensics tool” is based on Flash drive technology and is available only to law enforcement officials - amateur gumshoes will have to tread the mean streets of the internet superhighway without it.  Read More

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