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08 October 2013 - Media release

Sharing global expertise focus of forensic science symposium at INTERPOL

LYON, France – The need for countries to share forensic expertise to better support criminal investigations at the regional and global levels was underlined as essential at the opening of the 17th International Forensic Sciences Symposium at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters.

The three-day (8 – 10 October) forum brings together more than 160 forensic scientists, investigators and researchers from 61 countries and three international organizations in addition to private companies to discuss the latest advances in techniques, applications and best practices.

Issues on the agenda include criminalistics - firearms, marks, paint, fibres and forensic geology; forensic chemistry - fire investigation, explosives, drugs and toxicology; media evidence - audio, video, imaging and digital evidence; and identification sciences - fingerprints, DNA and documents. Three thematic sessions on Scene of Crime, Management and State of the Art of Forensics will also be held throughout the conference.

Opening the symposium, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin said the work by forensic scientists played a vital role, pointing to the recent deployment of an INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) to Kenya following the terrorist attack on a shopping centre in Nairobi.

“Forensic evidence is a vital link between criminal investigations and prosecution,” said Mr Louboutin.

“The collection, analysis and sharing of forensic evidence from crime scenes, suspects and victims can make a difference not only in investigations as recent as the one in Kenya, but also in the coldest of cases.

“This is why INTERPOL is working to ensure that our tools and services, including our global databases on DNA and fingerprints, are readily accessible, as there is no way to predict when this evidence will lead to a break in a case from anywhere in the world,” concluded Mr Louboutin.

Held every three years, the International Forensic Science Managers Symposium brings together experts from the world, including from the International Forensic Strategic Alliance, to present advances in scientific methods and identify ways in which they can be applied to criminal investigations.