Textile damage examinations on the cutting edge - an Australian perspective

Sloan, K, Fergusson, S and Robertson, J 2018, 'Textile damage examinations on the cutting edge - an Australian perspective', Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 682-688.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Textile damage examinations on the cutting edge - an Australian perspective
Author(s) Sloan, K
Fergusson, S
Robertson, J
Year 2018
Journal name Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume number 50
Issue number 6
Start page 682
End page 688
Total pages 7
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Requests for textile damage examinations can result from a variety of crime types. While a reasonable proportion involve an edged implement, a broad spectrum of damage types can be encountered. The examination requires an understanding of the complex mechanism of damage formation to enable an accurate interpretation and reliable conclusion to be formulated. The report recently published by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) scrutinized numerous forensic featurebased comparisons, and highlighted deficiencies in their validity and reliability. Textile damage was not a focus area of this report, but is a subjective feature-based technique. It is, by necessity, largely reliant upon a practitioner's opinion, experience and professional judgement, and is therefore subject to the report's commentary. Significant progress has been made to strengthen the discipline since examinations were conducted during the investigation of the death of Azaria Chamberlain nearly 40 years ago. The purpose of this paper is to review the current state of textile damage examinations in Australia in light of the PCAST report, and to survey the work being conducted to improve the foundational science and standardization of damage analysis. Certain areas requiring future attention and research, such as empirical studies, will be discussed.
Subject Forensic Statistics
Textile Technology
Textile and Fashion Design
DOI - identifier 10.1080/00450618.2018.1438877
Copyright notice © Crown Copyright in the Commonwealth of Australia 2018 Australian Federal Police
ISSN 0045-0618
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