Forensic Technologies and Services: Revolutionizing Crime Solving

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Advanced technologies in forensics science have been of substantial importance in recent years. Few examples of such advancements include enhanced fingerprint retrieval from metal objects such as gun cartridges and various metal ammunition, role of chemistry to identify the chemical and biological weapons, and integration of various technologies which can improve the detection of various drugs and explosives materials at security checkpoints. Other such advancements in human crimes include portable DNA profiling techniques used at crime scenes, which provides a high accuracy in determining the age of an individual relating to crime, and developments in scanners.

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These technological advancements have helped the market with reduced costs in practical applications, which enhances the affordability of forensic applications in various fields and thus, increases their market penetration. Greater use of DNA profiling and other fingerprint technologies have shown a high visibility to forensic testing. US remains on top with large number of crime happening yearly. This has led to the increase in the number of forensic laboratories in the U.S. which perfume forensic study has grown from 490 in 2000 to an estimated 550 in 2010. Noticing top 50 publicly funded forensic crime labs, the annual aggregate budget of such labs is about $360 million. These laboratories analyze hundreds of thousands of samples annually.

The global forensic technologies and services market was valued at US$ 10,035.1 million in 2015 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 12.4% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024).

Figure 1. Global Forensic Technologies and Services Market Share, By Service (%)

forensic technologies and services market

Source: Coherent Market Insights Analysis (2017)

Strengthening Crime Laboratories: Collaboration between Industry and University

In crime laboratories across the U.S., scientists and technicians are working together on increasing the technologies that can be effectively used to bring criminals to justice and prevent the innocent from imprisonment. Advancements to bring new technologies in forensic science research and development (R&D) to solve and increase the reliability and efficiency of forensic testing. Various Institutions are being set up to further increase research related to forensic science. One such institute is National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which invested US$ 127 million between 2009 and 2014 in R&D. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has entered into partnership with National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop new technologies in forensic science. In 2014, National Institute of Justice and National Science Foundation collectively introduced an Industry/ University Cooperative Research Center to enhance the university and industry collaboration in forensic science R&D and in education. 

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Chemicals Analysis: A Fast Emerging Segment

Chemical analysis is a forensic study that has multiple applications in identification of illegal substances within the criminal justice system. The chemicals usually considered are used to examine the way the atoms and molecules in the sample interact and bond with each other. Forensic experts in the lab use these distinguishing features to identify substances using various advanced methods that can be replicated in the lab and thus, are presentable as evidence in court. Forensic chemistry covers analysis and detection of illegal drugs, explosives and poisons. In forensic drug chemistry, experts use scientific findings to help the jury pursue legal action against the suspected individual of a drug-related crime. The aim of the chemical analysis is to understand and determine whether the material submitted in the laboratories for clinical analysis contains an illegal substance and according, press charges against the guilty.

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