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The Effectiveness of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigations


Julian, RD and Kelty, SF, The Effectiveness of Forensic Science in Criminal Investigations, Criminal Investigation Workshop, 10 & 11 December 2009, Canberra, pp. 1-21. (2009) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]


It is always desirable to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. This is particularly so for forensic science as the number of criminal incidents investigated greatly exceeds the available resources that can be applied. While some work has been done which has sought to evaluate the effectiveness of forensic services and identify ways to improve its impact, there is still no readily available methodology or mechanism for evaluating the final impacts of forensic services on police investigations. To a large extent the policing and forensic science community has been ‘flying blind’ in terms of the actual impact of its work. Investments of government funds are based on the best sources of information known at the time and are often based on number of analyses that will or can be performed rather than on the maximum effectiveness and efficiencies of the various forensic disciplines. This is a problem that has been identified, and is only just beginning to be explored, in the international context. This paper will examine this problem, review current knowledge internationally on the effectiveness of forensic services and introduce a new collaborative research project that aims to establish an evidence-based model of the key variables that affect forensic science’s impact upon the investigation of crime for use by Australian police agencies and governments in pursuit of optimal evidence-based policies and practice. With the onset of new technologies and the time and cost involved in their implementation it is important that the best strategic decisions are made in criminal investigations. The use of forensic science as an intelligence tool, as well as an investigative tool, will be explored in this context.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Police administration, procedures and practice
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law enforcement
UTAS Author:Julian, RD (Professor Roberta Julian)
UTAS Author:Kelty, SF (Dr Sally Kelty)
ID Code:73099
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2011-09-13
Last Modified:2011-09-13

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