Forensic Science: An Introduction / Edition 1

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This book provides a clear and authoritative introduction to forensic science ¿ the application of science to the resolution of legal disputes. It describes and explains the principal features of forensic science, from the collection of physical evidence at the scene to the presentation of scientific findings in court. Although parts of the book are written with specific reference to the criminal justice system of the UK (particularly that of England and Wales), most of the book is relevant to all readers, irrespective of the legal system operated by their country.


  • Clear coverage of key topics in forensic science.
  • Includes a guest chapter on the rapidly-developing technique of DNA profiling.
  • Case studies of forensic science in practice are spread throughout the book.
  • Additional material on forensic science techniques is highlighted in separate boxes.
  • Chapter objectives and end-of-chapter problems enhance the reader's learning experience.
  • A glossary provides definitions of commonly used forensic science terms.
  • An attractive two-colour text design.
  • The book is supported, for both students and lecturers, by a dedicated website ( featuring interactive testing material and relevant web links for each chapter.

The book is aimed at first-year undergraduates studying forensic science either as a single subject or in combination with another discipline. It will also be suitable for students taking a forensic science course as a subsidiary or elective subject.  Those studying forensic science at masters level will find this bookprovides valuable background information.  Furthermore, professionals, such as the police and lawyers, who routinely work with forensic scientists, may also find it useful as a reference book.

Dr Andrew Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at Staffordshire University, UK.

Dr Julie Jackson is a freelance science writer, with a background in biology.

Dr Harry Mountain, guest author of the chapter on DNA profiling, is a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology at Staffordshire University, UK, with a special interest in forensic genetics.


Cover illustrations

Photograph of gun firing reproduced by kind permission of Philip Boyce, Senior Firearms Examiner, Forensic Alliance, UK.

Photograph of Staffordshire University Crime Scene Reconstruction House taken by Albert Bowyer and reproduced by kind permission of Staffordshire University, UK.



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130432513
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/23/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter1 Introduction to forensic science
1.1 The role of forensic science in the investigation of crime
1.2 The provision of forensic science services in England and Wales
1.3 The scientific evaluation of forensic evidence.
1.4 Quality assurance in forensic science Chapter 2: The crime scene Chapter objectives Introduction
2.1 An overview of crime scene processing.
2.2 The first police officer attending and the preservation of the crime scene
2.3 Recording the crime scene
2.4 The recovery of physical evidence
2.5 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 3 Trace and contact evidence, Part I: Recoverable materials Chapter objectives Introduction
3.1 Hairs and other fibres
3.2 Glass
3.3 Soils
3.4 Vegetable matter
3.5 Paint
3.6 Others
3.7 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 4 Trace and contact evidence, Part II: Fingerprints and other marks and impressions Introduction Chapter objectives
4.1 Fingerprints
4.2 Footwear impressions
4.3 Bite marks
4.4 Tool marks
4.5 Tyre marks
4.6 Textile products
4.7 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 5 The examination of body fluids Chapter objectives Introduction
5.1 Blood
5.2 Bloodstain pattern analysis
5.3 Saliva
5.4 Semen
5.5 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 6 The analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA): DNA profiling
Guest chapter by Harry Mountain
Chapter objectives Introduction.
6.1 The forensic value of DNA profiling
6.2 DNA, genes and their relationship to individuality
6.3 Forensic DNA analysis and DNA profiling
6.4 Interpretation of DNA profiles
6.5 Mitochondrial DNA analysis
6.6. Current andfuture developments
6.7. Summary Problems Further reading Chapter 7 Forensic toxicology and drugs of abuse Chapter objectives Introduction
7.1 Common poisons
7.2 Drugs of abuse
7.3 Factors affecting toxicity
7.4 Routes of uptake and elimination of drugs and other toxic substances
7.5 The analysis of drugs and other poisons
7.6 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 8 Questioned documents Chapter objectives Introduction
8.1 Handwriting investigation
8.2 Signature investigation
8.3 Typed, word-processed and photocopied documents
8.4 Printed documents
8.5 The analysis of handwriting inks
8.6 Paper analysis
8.7 Tears, folds, holes, obliterations, erasures and indentations
8.8 Summary Problems Further reading Chapter 9 Firearms Chapter objectives Introduction
9.1 Types of firearms and ammunition
9.2 Internal, external and terminal ballistics
9.3 The examination of suspect firearms
9.4 The examination of spent cartridge cases, bullets and wads
9.5 Gunshot residues
9.6 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 10 Fires Chapter objectives Introduction
10.1 The nature of fire
10.2 The behaviour of fire
10.3 Fire scene investigation
10.4 The analysis of fire accelerants
10.5 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 11 Explosions and explosives Chapter objectives Introduction
11.1 The classification of explosions and explosives
11.2 Explosion scene investigation
11.3 The analysis of explosives
11.4 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 12 The forensic examination of human remains Chapter objectives Introduction
12.1 Early post-mortem changes and the estimation of time of death
12.2 Post-mortem decomposition and related phenomena
12.3 The establishment of cause of death
12.4 The identification of human remains.
12.5 Summary Problems Further Reading Chapter 13 Forensic science in court Chapter objectives Introduction
13.1 The criminal court system in England and Wales
13.2. The forensic scientist's report for use in court
13.3 The role of the forensic scientist as expert witness
13.4 The interpretation of evidence
13.5 Summary Problems Further Reading Glossary Index

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