Scenes of Crime and Accidents Network

The group is dedicated to the reconstruction and simulation of crime or accident scenes using technology, machine learning and bias mitigation for virtual training, 3D visualisation of investigations, medico-legal evidence and structural dynamics. We also specialise in novel technologies for substance/liquid identification, materials characterisation and biohazard identification.

Research lead: Dr Adrian James and Dr Hoshang Kolivand

Case study

Drones to detect buried victims or evidence

Finding burial sites in murder and other criminal investigations traditionally relied on witnesses and latterly remote sensing technology. A quick, effective and vastly cheaper method using UAVs – or drones – has been tested by engineers and forensic investigators at FORRI. UAV technology is increasingly popular amongst law enforcement worldwide with many forces now using drones in different roles. The LJMU study shows that a UAV equipped with an unmodified digital camera can provide low-cost soil disturbance detection when paired with a custom video processing algorithm, improving the operational productivity of missing persons and homicide investigations nationwide.