Fingerprints are something people take time to contemplate about on a daily basis. In reality, unless somebody is attempting to eliminate pesky fingerprints out of mirrors or furniture, it is unlikely an ordinary person thinks of fingerprints at all.
However, for some people, its an important part of their jobs. Law enforcement officers and forensic experts spend hours thinking about how prints help solve crimes, and attempting to locate, gather, document and compare these special identifiers that could connect a particular individual to a specific offense. These individuals understand that a fundamental human characteristic that many people take for granted can be among the best tools in solving crimes.
Each Individual is born with their unique set of fingerprints. No two fingerprints have ever been proven to be precisely alike; not on identical twin and not even on an individual’s own hand. The formation of these unique whorls and lines that constitute an individual’s fingerprints happen at the fetal period and stay the same during one’s lifetime. This makes an exceptional mark which can positively identify one individual against another, especially helpful when the individual of interest already has a recorded listed set of fingerprints on record with authorities, military or other government bodies.
Fingerprints comprise a set of swirling lines. How these lines shape and design themselves is what makes each fingerprint unique. Despite the huge number of distinct fingerprints, there are only seven unique kinds of lines that make up fingerprints. These lines may start, stop or divide at any point within the print. The shapes, lengths, angles, heights and widths create billions of different prints.
The use of these unique attributes makes it easy to see how fingerprints can help solve crimes. Leaving fingerprints at a crime scene is more like dropping a calling card there. There are a few ways fingerprints become left behind by careless criminals. The most common way is by oil or fat transferred by the finger to an object like a doorframe. Amino acids in the finger may even leave a discernable mark. Fingerprints may also be seen as an impression in a soft material like putty. Finally, they are sometimes drawn up by substances on the finger such as paint or blood.
Uncovering fingerprints help solve a crime could be accomplished in a few ways. Adhering powders onto fresh fingerprints will get the powder to stick to the dirt and make the fingerprint visible. Another technique is using a few drops of cyanoacrylate. Whenever these drops are heated up, they vaporized, and the smoke attaches to the fingerprint leaving a clear white print. Specialised crime scene laboratory equipment can also find fingerprints.
Fingerprints may be stored for more investigation in many of ways such as: capturing a photo of the printing, storing it on a tape or rubber lifter, maintaining the original ground the printing was on and copying it utilizing digital technologies.
Ideally, from a crime-solving perspective, it is hoped that the interconnected nature of our society will gradually lead to having all fingerprint databases linked for effortless cross-reference.