Forensic Biology
New Technology to Spot Blood on Dark Clothes

New Technology to Spot Blood on Dark Clothes

The London Metropolitan police has developed a new technology that can spot the bloodstains on dark colured clothes. It has been claimed that this technology will be used for murder investigation across the globe.

According to the police, they have evolved an infrared camera that can detect bloodstains of less than 1 mm on dark clothing.

Earlier the forensic officers had to use a microscope to look through dark clothing for blood, a process which could take two days or sometimes longer, but the new camera can detect it within minutes.

It has been explained by the police department that the camera turns dark clothing light, as it reflects the infrared, yet blood absorbs it and remains dark, so can be clearly seen through the viewer including specs as small as quarter of 1mm, and specialist software can photograph the areas of bloodstain.

Around 100 staff members of the police have been trained in the use of the equipment which is now routinely being used in murder and violence investigations involving dark materials.

The new camera can be used used at the crime scenes to quickly examine dark materials for bloodstains and at the homes of suspects to examine their clothing.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) encountered the demonstration of the camera and has been looking to authorise its use across all forces in the country.

The work on this camera has been published in the journal Forensic Science International in 2022, which took three years of hard work of the police staff.

The Met’s director of forensic operations, Alan Tribe, said that the new camera will be used for investigations into stabbings, assaults, violent crimes, domestic violence and violence in public places and will be distributed nationwide.

 According to Dr Andrew Hart, Met’s Senior Forensic Scientist, they have received requests from around the world like Canada and Europe to speak about the new technology. They have also presented it at a Swedish conference and at the Bloodstain Pattern Analysis conferences in the US and Europe.

The police explained that since the suspects and victims are increasingly wearing dark clothing, so equipment is vital to reduce investigation time, plus the young people are more likely to own many more clothes, all of which may need to be examined.

This indicates that people can be removed from investigations faster and blood tests could be done while a suspect remains in custody.

Blood shows up differently from other substances like mud, tea or coffee and once identified is sent for DNA profiling.

Other breakthroughs are also being worked on to speed up investigations, by the Met police, which include a new rapid testing kit for harmful substances in drink spiking cases. The police force is also piloting the use of DNA processing units in its custody suites.

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