Chemical, Biological and Trace Analysis Network

Detection, recovery and analysis of chemical ballistics, controlled drugs, medicinal, cosmetic and food products, biological materials, DNA and trace evidence to enhance global public health and policy.

Research lead: Dr Sulaf Assi and Dr Jason Birkett

Case study

Aiding court judiciary to understand gun crime evidence

FORRI ballistics experts have assisted the judiciary in England and Wales in their understanding of the science of firearms. The judicial ‘primers’ project is a collaboration between the judiciary and the Royal Society to help judges in their dealings with scientific evidence in the courtroom. The institute’s Dr Jason Birkett was a key player on the Editorial Board which produced the primer manual on ballistics which explains, among other aspects, the role that gunshot residue (GSR) plays in forensic investigations, and in crucially proving the case for or against the defendant/s.

Case study

Helping farmers protect livestock

A pioneering collaboration with North Wales Police is using DNA technology to identify the culprits of dog attacks on livestock, estimated to have cost British farmers £1.52 million last year. The DEFRA-funded work led by Dr Nick Dawnay, involves gathering swab samples from injured and deceased livestock at crime scenes and matching it to local ‘suspects’. It is hoped that the results will enable police forces, and forensic science services across Wales and England, to employ best DNA practice when dealing with livestock attacks under the new powers proposed in the Kept Animals Bill, which allows forces to collect DNA samples from dogs suspected of an attack.

Network members

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