Message from the Chief Commissioner

Areas of Forensic Science

Release date: Tue 10 April 2012

Last updated: Mon 13 February 2017

Forensics DNA

What forensic science services are provided by the Forensic Services Department?

Audio Visual
: extraction, recovery, repair, enhancement and analysis of audio and video recordings including CCTV and images;

Ballistics: examination of crime scenes involving firearms; firearms, ammunition and component examination and comparison; firearms identification safety and function, striated toolmark comparison,

Biological Sciences: For major crime - detection and identification of biological material such as blood, semen and hair; bloodstain pattern analysis on exhibits and at scenes.  For property crime - detection and identification of biological material such as blood, semen and hair.  For all biological cases - DNA profiling of samples and comparison of profiles from victims, suspects, convicted offenders, scenes and comparisons to the National DNA database ; 

Botany: botanical identification of plant material including cannabis and opium poppies; yield estimates of cannabis crops for usable material; examination of trace botanical material from crimes; identification of poisonous/psycho active plants,

Chemical, Biological and Radiological/Disaster Victim Identification: processing crime scenes of a chemical, biological or radiological incident; locate, photograph, record and collect human remains at scenes with a number of deceased with questioned identity;

Chemical Trace: identification and/or comparison of materials such as glass, paint, plastics, fibres, and chemical irritants (e.g. pepper spray);

Clandestine Laboratories: analysis and interpretation of chemicals and equipment from illegal drug laboratories;

Criminal Identification: preparation of facial composites based on witness descriptions; cranio-facial reconstructions; assistance with preparation of interactive graphic presentations of evidence;

DNA Management Unit: management of collection of DNA samples throughout Victoria; sharing DNA information nationally and internationally; notification to investigators of DNA links to unsolved crimes; co-ordination of Ante-Mortem collection from relatives of long-term missing persons;

Document Examination: handwriting and signature comparisons; examination of machine generated documents; examination of documents for alterations, obliterations and indentations;

Drug Analysis: identification of drugs and poisons; determining the quantity of the drug; reporting of chemical drugs intelligence data;

Fingerprints: development of latent fingerprints and comparison to the NAFIS fingerprint database and to fingerprints taken from persons of interest;

Fire and Explosion Investigation: investigation of fires and explosions through scene examinations and laboratory analyses of exhibits, to determine the cause of the fire or explosion;

Major Crime scene: at major crime scenes, scene searching, collection of exhibits and recording the scenes using photography and video; recording, enhancement and comparison of shoe, tyre and tool impressions;

Microscopy: sampling persons, scenes and items for gunshot residue and subsequent analysis;
Photographic Processing: production of prints for Court for Victoria Police;

Vehicle Examination: examination of suspect vehicles and other items to establish original identity;

Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist: management of the research, development and innovation (RD&I) and education and training strategies of the Forensic Services Department.


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