The Detail Archives    Discuss This Issue    Subscribe to The Detail

Fingerprint News Archive       Search Past Details

G o o d   M o r n i n g !
Monday, November 22, 2004

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.

Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Report Faults FBI's Fingerprint Scrutiny in Arrest of Lawyer NEW YORK TIMES, NY  - Nov. 17, 2004 "The error was a human error and not a methodology or technology failure," a panel stated.

Criminals 'pay others' To Serve Jail Time   EXPATICA, Netherlands  - Nov. 19, 2004 ...Criminals in the Netherlands who are too busy to go to jail regularly pay accomplices to serve out their sentences...

Forum Fosters Interest in Forensic Studies   TIMES PICAYUNE, LA - Nov. 20, 2004 ...teachers attended the Forensic Science Educational Conference to get a foundation in a field that's getting a lot of attention nationwide...

Fingerprint Expert Links Evidence With Man Accused Of Murder THEDAY, CT - Nov. 20, 2004 ...forensic expert positively identified palm prints found on murder victim as those of his accused killer...


The Toronto Police Service is holding it's 19th annual forensic training conference.  The conference is scheduled for February 2005.  Once conference speakers/presenters are finalized, further updates will be available on the website:


Last week
we looked at the first FBI certified true 1000ppi live scan capture station.

This week

we examine a recent procedure published by the UK Police Scientific Development Branch as distributed by the FBI FSC to insure the accuracy and integrity of digital images.

Digital Imaging Procedure
Police Scientific Development Branch
United Kingdom

Reprinted from
Forensic Science Communications
October 2004 Volume 6 Number 4

Dear Colleagues,

A number of law enforcement officials in North America approached the Scientific Working Group on Imaging Technology (SWGIT) requesting guidance in developing policies and procedures to acquire and protect their digital image evidence. Many expressed concern regarding potential challenges to the integrity of digital images.

SWGIT is pleased to present Digital Imaging Procedure, Version 1.0. This document was published by the United Kingdom's Police Scientific Development Branch, which has agreed to let us distribute it. This document addresses the issues of digital image acquisition and integrity in a straightforward manner that is consistent with the guidelines and recommendations of SWGIT.

SWGIT strongly encourages agencies to incorporate the recommendations provided in this document in their own policies and procedures, as appropriate. In doing so, agencies will be taking an important step to ensure the integrity of their digital image evidence.

Among the most critical fundamental ideas presented in this document is the concept of a master copy, which serves as the digital equivalent of an original film negative or video tape. A master copy represents either a bit-for-bit duplicate of original digital files or a digital copy of an analog recording that has been written to removable media, such as a compact disc or DVD-R. When a master copy is generated, it can be handled using the same policies and procedures an agency would use to protect and preserve the integrity of an original film negative or video tape.

As Digital Imaging Procedure, Version 1.0 points out, although it is commonly accepted that a credible manipulation of digital image files can be accomplished relatively easily, it is very difficult to conceal manipulation when the manipulated file is compared to the master file. Thus, creating a master copy represents the most critical step in any procedure involving digital image files.

Another important concept discussed in this document is that imaging devices (i.e., film, video, or digital still cameras) do not duplicate or clone reality but merely generate a visual representation of a subject. The degree to which an image represents a lifelike simulation of reality will be a function of many factors, including the type of camera used, the processing applied to the image, and the means by which the image is displayed. Agencies and personnel using images should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of different technologies. Furthermore, agencies must develop policies and procedures that enable them to generate images of sufficient quality to accomplish their mission.

Some of the guidance in this document may only apply to agencies in the United Kingdom. Agencies implementing the guidelines elsewhere should ensure that they meet statutory requirements in their jurisdiction.

SWGIT will continue developing guidelines for the use of imaging technology in the criminal justice system. We will also continue to work with our international partners to identify similar documents and guidelines that will be of benefit to our local community. We hope you find this document of assistance in your work.

Richard W. Vorder Bruegge


To discuss this Detail, the message board is always open: (

More formal latent print discussions are available at (



Updated the Close Calls page with a new entry.  If you have a close non-identification you can submit for others to learn from, please contact Captain "pretty-darn" Close:


Feel free to pass The Detail along to other examiners.  This is a free newsletter FOR latent print examiners, BY latent print examiners. There are no copyrights on The Detail, and the website is open for all to visit.

If you have not yet signed up to receive the Weekly Detail in YOUR e-mail inbox, go ahead and join the list now so you don't miss out!  (To join this free e-mail newsletter, send a blank e-mail to:  Members may unsubscribe at any time.  If you have difficulties with the sign-up process or have been inadvertently removed from the list, e-mail me personally at and I will try to work things out.

Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!