Police History: Ballistics & Sciences
Established in 1951, when it also embraced bomb disposal, the ballistics section has helped homicide detectives send many killers to jail. The tiny scratches on a bullet as it explodes down a barrel bear distinctive marks for every weapon; experts can pinpoint which revolver or rifle fired a shot that killed.
Scientific backup to investigators comes from pathologists and forensic experts from the Government Laboratory and Forensic Pathology Service. Their vital but grisly tasks provide expert testimony in cases of murder, suspicious deaths, rape and hit-and-run accidents. From examination of tiny objects at scenes of crimes, the doctors and scientists can often give important clues that lead to convictions. Just as fingerprinting caused a revolution in criminal detection decades ago, so now experts in laboratories lead detectives into another exciting generation of change; DNA profiles can now positively identify suspects from a drop of blood, saliva, urine or sperm. Fingerprint checks, too, once regarded as science fiction, are now being made much faster and more reliably, with the minute individual whorls on every person's fingers being traced and checked by computers.
|Overview - The Future|
|History - The First Century|
|The Modern Era 1945-67|
|Creating a Legend 1967-94|
|Changes to the Policing Model and the Return of Sovereignty 1994-99|
|The New Century|
|Women - An Equal Force|
|Ballistics & Sciences|
|Down Memory Lane|