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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221426 Find in a Library
Title: Trace DNA Analysis: Do You Know What Your Neighbour is Doing?--A Multi-Jurisdictional Survey
Journal: Forensic Science International Genetics  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:19-28
Author(s): Jennifer J. Raymond; Roland A.H. van Oorschot; Simon J. Walsh; Claude Roux
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Ireland
Annotation: This study examined current practices for trace DNA analysis, from crime scene to interpretation and management, in Australia and New Zealand.
Abstract: Results provide a useful overview of the current state of trace DNA analysis in Australia and New Zealand. Data indicate that collation of results differs widely, and prevents inter-jurisdictional comparison and intra-jurisdictional assessment of both the processes and outputs; however, similarities were found between sampling, examination, and analysis methods. Communication between forensic institutions such as crime scene units, and laboratories, both within and across disciplines, is fundamental to the provision of accurate and efficient examinations. The prominent issue identified by the survey which is applicable to all areas and practitioners of forensic science, is the need for more benchmarking exercises, and clearer communication lines. Other issues identified include the lack of uniform training courses and proficiency testing, a lack of data gathering and uniform results reporting, and contamination prevention. An overseeing body to collate research and determine best practice in all areas of trace DNA analysis is needed. Despite the sometimes vast distances between organizations, members are aware of and have good relationships with their colleagues. The survey results were disseminated to participants, and this has already triggered positive changes in assessing, revising, and enforcing protocols, as well as initiating discussions amongst jurisdictions aimed at improving the collating and reporting of results. In late 2004, surveys were sent to three target groups: crime scene officers, DNA laboratory scientists, and managers of these staff. Future research should include similar audits or processes in neighboring regions which could highlight duplication of research variances in contamination prevention, or develop more resourceful methods and procedures. The return rate of completed surveys was 54 percent; a total of 169 surveys were completed. Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Australia; Blood/body fluid analysis; Forensic sciences; New Zealand
Index Term(s): Country-by-country surveys; Crime analysis; Effectiveness; Jurisdiction; Research methods
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