A "weekend in Amsterdam" will take on a new meaning…

As soon as someone in the UK says they’re off for a weekend to Amsterdam, eyebrows go up because we all know what they’re up to – no, not necessarily to see the Ladies of the Night but off to get stoned in a coffee shop (let’s face it, they don’t usually move from the …

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A cautionary word on the meaning of "evidence"

When writing reports I am always very careful about using the word “evidence”.  A colleague once recounted a story to me about an experience he had in court in the early stages of his career.  He had used the word “evidence” in his report when talking about what he had found during his examinations at …

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Bitemark evidence – another example of the need for a database

The following article appeared in Science Daily on 17 September 2009.  It seems that this field of expertise, bitemarks, has fallen foul of the usual criticisms of unusual evidence types – the lack of an adequate, representative database for interpretation of information in a given case.  Without such a database there is no real way …

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Roadside drug testing; drug driving

One of my earlier posts commented on drug driving, the recent law changes in New Zealand and the new ad campaign in England & Wales.  The answer that everyone would like (apart from the people who actually take the drugs) is a roadside device that can screen, say, saliva for the presence of drugs – …

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Drug driving and impairment testing

Drug driving is illegal in many countries including New Zealand and the UK.  New Zealand has recently (June 2009) changed the law in order to increase the rate of successful prosecutions .  These changes, which come into force in December 2009, include giving the Police the power to conduct roadside impairment tests.  Such tests were …

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