Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Forensic Services Group


Director Tony Raymond

Research Indicates

  • 2/3 of crime is committed by 8% of the population.
  • More than 50% of offenders who murder young women have previous convictions for assault.
  • More than 90% of convicted sex offenders already had convictions for lesser offences.

The location, collection and recording of physical evidence are specialist skills. Forensic evidence can be collected at a crime scene, found in related locations or be present on suspects, witnesses and victims. If it is not processed correctly, there is a risk of contamination, misinterpretation and even loss of evidence. It is vitally important to get the science right, from the beginning.

Crime Scene Operations Branch (CSOB)

CSOB sis generally the first area to have contact with investigating police. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staff examine crime scenes for fingerprints and other trace evidence including blood stain patterns, tool marks, shoe and tyre marks. They may make photographic comparisons, sketch and make models of the scene.

Crime scene examiners assess, control and record crime scenes and exhibits. They also evaluate the need for specialist services, prepare briefs and present evidence in court.

The Crime Scene Operations Branch operates in 11 zones and through 28 decentralised Crime Scene Sections. Both fingerprint and physical evidence services are provided from these centres.

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) is also the responsibility of the CSOB. DVI is called into situations involving multiple casualties (such as aircraft, bus or train crashes).

The Branch also provides specialist support services such as ballistics, photogrammetry, drafting, engineering and investigation.

Criminal Identification Specialist Support Branch

Using both manual and computerised fingerprint systems, the Criminal Identification Specialist Support Branch provides professional fingerprint examination, comparison and identification for the Force and other law enforcement agencies. A specialist service is available when advanced development techniques are required.

The Latent Print Section provides suspect identification based on crime scene and exhibit examination. It also helps identify people charged and fingerprinted.

This branch is the central location for all NSW criminal history information. It forms the basis of an on line criminal histories computer system for police, as well as a criminal histories support service to the courts and other approved bodies.

The Branch also provides document examination, facial identification and specialist photograph services.

Professional Services Branch

The Branch provides specific forensic training and research into current and new methods.

The Forensic Services Group, in conjunction with the Canberra Institute of Technology, also offers a Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Investigation). Both Training and Research sections have been involved in the development of a National Diploma for their respective fields. The Branch also coordinates Quality Systems across the Forensic Services Group.

Armoury and Clinical Forensic Medical Services are the responsibility of the Forensic Services Group.

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