Disaster Victim Identification (DVI)

Sadly, it looks as though the recovery in Christchurch involves not only remarkable stories of the living but also devastating stories of the deceased. In response to a phone call I had today, I just write briefly about what may happen in terms of identification of those who have been or are yet to be …

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Drugs & children’s hair

It was very interesting to read the results of ESR’s recent media release: Hair samples reveal P lab kids’ long term exposure to methamphetamine.  I’ve seen many cases involving meth labs and manufacture, using swabs from surfaces to determine whether or not methamphetamine could have been manufactured in a given location.  Using hair analysis results …

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2010 (amusing) crime round-up

Although crime is generally a negative experience for all concerned, it has to be accepted that where people (and sometimes animals) are involved, amusing things will occasionally also occur.  Including crime.  Following are some examples of interesting and unusual crime stories from 2010: Leicester, England: Cold weather was the enemy of crime when two burglars …

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Word-leading forensic science agency to close

One of the world’s leading forensic science agencies, the British Forensic Science Service (FSS), will close the remainder of its laboratories by 2012. To quote a recent article, “The FSS is a government-owned company … that sells its services to customers including police forces in England and Wales. The government has now promised to sell …

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Auckland District Court: a re-vamped winner

It’s been a while since I visited Auckland District Court. The desire to visit has not been strong because it was a dark and dingy place with a grubby, neglected feel to it. So, having briefly attended to meet a colleague in relation to an arson matter at the end of last week, I now …

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Date rape drink spiking: Nelson & London

I received a comment on a previous blog post today, one that dealt with spiking of drinks with date-rape drugs: date rape drink spiking: is it real? The entire comment was “This has happened to me and alcohol was a minor factor. I had 3 units before my drink was spiked and as for as …

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Christmas and Forensic Science

Well, the Crown and the courts are winding down for their annual extended break. However, forensic scientists in the independent sector don’t take a holiday! This is the perfect time of year for lawyers to start preparing well in advance for next year’s trials, particularly given the long time that NZ Legal Services is taking …

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Drug-driving and dribble

“Why haven’t we got a testing device that can screen breath samples for drugs in the same way we can test for alcohol?”  As an alcohol/drink-driving calculation expert I get asked this question quite a lot.  The assumption is made that because we can test for alcohol in breath then it must be just as …

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Pike River mine explosion – geologists are here…

Just a short observation.  Tomorrow, 21 November 2010, the annual Geological Society of New Zealand conference will begin in Auckland:  GeoNZ 2010.  The conference has an overlap day with the NZ Branch of  The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). The deadline for GeoNZ abstracts was extended as a result of the Darfield earthquake …

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ForSci job losses – starting to show

It’s a sad day indeed when 200 staff at a forensic science facility are made redundant. The England & Wales Forensic Science Service was the original English forensic science service provider but just hasn’t stood the test of time or the test of serious competition from private companies. Add to that the fact that forensic …

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