Current forensic methods have an incredible sensitivity. Minute traces, often invisible to the bare eye, allow for a full analysis. Only a few cells yield a full DNA profile; a single fibre suffices to identify the fibre type as well as the dyes used for its coloration; the elemental composition of glass shards smaller than 100µm is now analysed on a routine basis in forensic laboratories.
However, before a forensic expert can examine a trace, it needs to be recovered. Unfortunately, the procedures for recovery of traces are heterogeneous: experts in different forensic disciplines and in different laboratories use different methods. Sometimes, such methods are not compatible, and recovery of one type of trace may destroy other traces. Heterogeneity also hinders scientific studies into the behaviour of traces, accreditation of new technology, and international cooperation.
In this workshop, forensic investigators and experts in related fields will explore the current environment and work towards a draft for cross-discipline best practices. They will take current scientific insights and technological developments into account. In addition, obstacles that may hinder implementation of best practices will be identified as well as measures to mitigate them. Finally, participants will explore the possibilities opened by the workshop, such as improved collaboration and joint research projects.