Rapid DNA Technologies at the Crime Scene: ‘CSI’ fiction matching Reality

Invitation to PhD Defence Anna Mapes November 30th at 16.00h at the Agnietenkapel of the UvA.

27 November 2017

Rapid DNA analysis has been standard procedure for years in the well-known series ‘CSI’ to identify perpetrators within hours. Although this series is clearly fiction, it is possible that ‘CSI’ predicts the future forensic investigation process.

Anna Mapes

Anna Mapes

This PhD-research describes how mobile Rapid DNA analysis may be implemented as a potential effective tool in modern day law enforcement. It is expected that this technology will affect the role of the forensic institutes and the tasks of professionals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The research in this thesis shows that the use of Rapid DNA at the crime scene is a promising tool to identify a suspect within hours. It also became clear that the technological, behavioural and legal implications must be taken into account before Rapid DNA analysis becomes reality. Key figures on the contribution of DNA to the identification of suspects and on the actual success rates of the DNA profiling process in analysing biological traces form a wide range of items illustrate the potential benefits of implementing Rapid DNA technologies. We further show that the possibility to deploy Rapid DNA analysis at the crime scene affects the decision-making processes of Scene of Crime Officers (SoCOs) regarding the selection of biological traces for subsequent DNA analysis. For that reason, we developed a decision model for the use of mobile Rapid DNA technologies by SoCOs. We also point out the need to establish a legal environment conducive to the harmonious introduction of mobile Rapid DNA technologies at the crime scene.

 

Anna will defend her dissertation during a public ceremony on November 30th at 16.00h at the Agnietenkapel of the UvA.

This PhD-research describes how mobile Rapid DNA analysis may be implemented as a potential effective tool in modern day law enforcement. It is expected that this technology will affect the role of the forensic institutes and the tasks of professionals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The research in this thesis shows that the use of Rapid DNA at the crime scene is a promising tool to identify a suspect within hours. It also became clear that the technological, behavioural and legal implications must be taken into account before Rapid DNA analysis becomes reality. Key figures on the contribution of DNA to the identification of suspects and on the actual success rates of the DNA profiling process in analysing biological traces form a wide range of items illustrate the potential benefits of implementing Rapid DNA technologies. We further show that the possibility to deploy Rapid DNA analysis at the crime scene affects the decision-making processes of Scene of Crime Officers (SoCOs) regarding the selection of biological traces for subsequent DNA analysis. For that reason, we developed a decision model for the use of mobile Rapid DNA technologies by SoCOs. We also point out the need to establish a legal environment conducive to the harmonious introduction of mobile Rapid DNA technologies at the crime scene.

 

Anna will defend her dissertation during a public ceremony on November 30th at 16.00h at the Agnietenkapel of the UvA.

Published by  Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center