SECReT 2009 PhD projects
- The transfer, persistence and secondary transfer of gunshot residue (GSR): Implications for crime reconstruction and forensic protocol studied using Bayesian modelling
- To what extent can forensic evidence aid in the investigation and prosecution of internal child sex trafficking (ICST)?
- Complex systems approaches to issues in crime and security
- Developing tools for anticipating and mitigating the negative societal impact, while preserving the positive impact, of security technologies for use by the developers of these technologies upstream in the design process.
- How new ways of spatial analysis can improve the geographical understanding of illegal drug markets and the distribution of drug-related crime
- Computational cryptography
- Developing analytical Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA) techniques for environmentally altered bloodstains; and examining the range and influence of visualization methods available for BPA presentation in the context of jury decision making.
- Optimisation of illicit material detection using X-ray diffraction: Drug identification using Low Angle X-ray Scatter - DILAX III
- Improving the understanding of and responses to internal child sex trafficking in the UK: An empirical multi-method analysis
- Securing threat detection: Synergy of technological and neuropsychological factors
To what extent can forensic evidence aid in the investigation and prosecution of internal child sex trafficking (ICST)?
7 March 2012
This multi-method, cross-disciplinary project brings together elements from both the physical and the social sciences. The context for this work is set through the analysis of forensic strategies employed in current and recently completed investigations into a form of complex child sex abuse.
Interviews with lead Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) and Senior Investigating Officers (SIOs) from a number of police forces across the UK, coupled with a police questionnaire focusing on forensic application and knowledge, will provide in-depth understanding of the restrictions faced by the police. It will also ensure that solutions suggested within this thesis are achievable and realistic.
The main focus of this thesis is the development of one aspect of forensic evidence currently overlooked in police investigations. In some cases of ICST the offenders ejaculate onto the victims during the sexual abuse, resulting in semen stained clothing. This project hypothesises that a 16 STR loci DNA profile, currently the standard for inclusion in UK courts, could still be achieved by extracting DNA from these stained then laundered clothes.
Due to the use of human tissue (spermatozoa) in the experimental part of this project, it has been approved by the National Research Ethics Council. Police data and support has been secured for this work from a number of different forces as well as support from the UKHTC. All experimental work is being completed with the support of UCL’s Genetics, Evolution and Environment department.