Water-soaked porous evidence: a comparison of processing methods

Rory K. Simmons, Paul Deacon, Kevin J. Farrugia

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3 Citations (Scopus)
206 Downloads (Pure)


This study compared the U.K. Home Office formulation for physical developer (PD) against Oil Red O (ORO) and a modified formulation of physical developer (MPD) that uses Tween 20 instead of Synperonic-N for enhancing fingermarks. Three different donors deposited fingermarks on porous surfaces (white paper, leaflets, and cardboard), with aging periods varying from 7 to 28 days. None of the techniques that were tested provided enhancement of latent fingermarks on leaflets, whereas poor-quality enhancement was observed on cardboard. In contrast, all techniques were more successful on white paper surfaces. The results obtained on white paper suggested that PD and MPD performed similarly, with PD detecting 82.3% of the deposited fingermarks and MPD detecting 86.5% of the deposited fingermarks. PD yielded a higher percentage (38.5%) of fingermarks with fine ridge detail (i.e., those with grade 2 or above) than MPD (35.4%). ORO, however, yielded poor results, enhancing only 4.5% of latent fingermarks, but showed no ridge detail in any of the enhancements (i.e., only showed grade 1 enhancements.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Forensic Identification
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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