The First Training Workshop on Investigative Journalism in Asia & Middle East, organized by IIFSS, India, has been Re-scheduled! IIFSS, India ties up with Cambridge Assessment English Mr. Mark Williams-Thomas, Celebrity Journalist from the Great Britain to Conduct The First Training Workshop on Investigative Journalism in Asia & Middle East, organized by IIFSS, India Admissions Open for December 2019 batch! The Institute will remain closed for Summer Break from June 01, 2019 to June 30, 2019! IIFSS is Now ISO 9001:2015 Certified IIFSS receives permission from Dental Council of India for offering Forensic Odontology Certification Director, IIFSS visits Indian Institute of Drones IIFSS lauches Online Certificate Course in Forensic Investigation International Institute for Forensic & Security Studies launches in India on November 28, 2018!

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Need for Forensic Investigation Training in India

The Honorable Union Home Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh, emphasized on the importance of forensic training of Police forces in the country, during the inaugural ceremony of 24th All India Forensic Science Conference held at Ahmedabad on 10th February 2018. He said fear of being detected is a greater inhibition factor for the criminals than the nature of punishment. Since most of the police officers (first responders) in the country are not properly trained in forensic investigations, often the evidences are destroyed leading to weakening of criminal cases in the court of law. He also stated that all forensic laboratories across the country should follow a common procedural protocol to minimize the discrepancies in forensic reports. See full news article* at the link provided below.

International Institute for Forensic and Security Studies has launched over 100 different online certification cum training courses related to forensic, legal, police, criminology and security studies to strengthen the level of related trainings in India and abroad. There are highly specialized online training programs; offered for the first time in India and many other countries worldwide for police, military and other law enforcement agencies to keep them updated about this emerging field and day to day advancement in technologies.

The institute also encourages police forces across the world to work collaboratively with each other in order to efficiently combat cross border crimes and major security threats like: Terrorism. Therefore the courses are designed keeping in mind professionals across the globe, including but not limited to members of judiciary, forensic scientists, bankers, administrators and other professionals.

Just like charity begins at home, training to combat crime needs to be provided to common man as well, together with existing professionals, therefore, some of the courses at IIFSS, India are customized specifically for general public/civilians including housewives and school going children.

 

*Source: The Indian Express (February 10, 2018) Rajnath Singh calls for basic training in forensics for policemen. Available online at: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rajnath-singh-calls-for-basic-training-in-forensics-for-policemen-5058893/ Last Accessed: November 26, 2018.

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Statistics on Human Trafficking in West & South Asia (2018)

Trafficking in humans have become commonplace across the world today. Especially in countries like those in West & South Asia, and of course globally as well.

The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, Italy has released reports* on all continents across the world, stating statistical numbers about the situation of all types of trafficking (Immoral & Human) in males, females and children in that particular region between the year 2014-17. As per the West & South Asia report**, India was found to have maximum number (6,877) of registered cases of trafficking in the entire West & South Asian region, between 2014-15; including both immoral & human trafficking, Maldives on the other hand, had minimum number (08) of registered cases of trafficking, between 2016-17. Other countries that were part of this report** were Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Srilanka and Pakistan.

Please find below, the link to UNODC's full Report** on Human Trafficking in West & South Asia-2018. www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/2018/GLOTIP_2018_WEST_AND_SOUTH_ASIA.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ref: * Source: UNODC, Italy (2018) Trafficking in Persons, Country Profiles. Available online at: www.unodc.org/unodc/data-and-analysis/glotip.html  .Last accessed: January 11, 2019. 

**Source: UNODC, Italy (2018)  Report on Trafficking in West & South Asia - 2018. Available online at: www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/2018/GLOTIP_2018_WEST_AND_SOUTH_ASIA.pdf  .Last accessed: January 11, 2019.

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Importance of Forensic Entomology in Investigations

Forensic Entomology, another nascent branch of Forensic science, deals with application of insects, fungi and other arthropods in criminal investigations. Insects start colonizing the body soon after death and start laying eggs. The study of insect colonization, stages of development, i.e., egg, larva, maggot, etc., give brief idea about the ‘Postmortem Index’, which is the time interval between death and discovery of body, thus providing crucial evidence about time, mode, manner of death and also change in position of the corpse after death.

The purpose of sharing the following article (see web link provided below) is to bring to notice that even minute details found during forensic investigations can change the outcome of the whole investigation. In the below article, an entomologist helps a person to be acquitted after 48 years of conviction, where conviction was actually done on the basis of circumstantial evidence, for a crime that the convict had perhaps never even committed. 

Click on the following link for details:-

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/story?id=3769512&page=1

 

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Should Aadhaar Database be made Accessible to Investigation Agencies in India?

In light of an incident where Aadhaar data; which could have been helpful in identification of first time offenders, was denied to officials of National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi [1], it was found that use of Aadhaar data is prohibited under Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, with an exception of permission being granted in case of any national security issues only (as per Section 33 of Aadhaar Act, 2016) [1]. Furthermore, this incidence also highlighted that such rule hindered the process of nabbing criminals and controlling crime in the country.

Considering the fact that in countries like USA, Social Security data containing personal information is accessible to investigation agencies and even public in accordance with country’s Privacy Act of 1974 and specific legal authorities, using secure transmission methods to protect the information [2], and is also frequently used for running criminal background checks [3], and, the fact that Aadhaar card details are mandatorily/optionally required almost everywhere in India, from Banks to Income Tax Department, Travel Ticket Bookings to Mobile Service Providers and Job Applications to College Entrance Examinations, and can easily be accessed by members of general public, it is high time that Indian laws pertaining to Aadhaar must be amended, and at least limited access to Aadhaar database should be provided to investigation agencies in accordance with laws of privacy in the country.

 

References:

[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/use-of-aadhaar-biometric-data-for-investigating-crime-not-allowed-under-law-uidai/articleshow/64702359.cms

[2] https://www.ssa.gov/open/story-2016-open-government-plan4.1.html

[3] https://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-social-security-number-background-check-2563.html

 

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How Bitemarks Can Act as Strong Evidence?

When Bitemarks were the Strongest Evidence in the Trial of a Serial Killer!

Forensic Dentistry or Forensic Odontology whose origin dates back to Garden of Eden ironically is still in seminal stages especially in developing countries like India [1]. While investigating crime, often valuable evidences related to teeth; which might play a vital role in solving crime, are ignored. Teeth along with bones are considered to be the most durable organs in vertebrates and can resist decomposition even if the body is burnt, submerged or buried. Therefore, dentistry/odontology can contribute a lot in detection of crime and hence seeking justice [2]. One of the prime aspects of Forensic Odontology is Bitemark analysis. A Forensic Odontologist should be consulted to analyze Bitemarks found on bodies of victims. Bitemarks can act as corroborative evidence in crime cases. Sadly out of 200 cases in India; between 1400 AD to the year 2017, related to Forensic Odontology, only 2% were successfully solved [3]. One of the most well known cases to be solved with the help of Bitemarks in the world was the execution of Ted Bundy (1989). Bundy may have gotten away with two murders and rape of a woman, if he hadn't bit the victims [4].

On the night of January 15, 1978, Lisa Levy and Martha Bowman, two young girls were found dead. Lisa Levy was raped, strangled and beaten on the head. Margaret Bowman was strangled with a pair of pantyhose and severely beaten on the head. Neither was found to be struggling. No solid evidences were found as the room was wiped clean, and there was no weapon found at the crime scene either [4]. The trace evidences found on the scene like: blood and semen samples were inconclusive. Only strong potential evidence found was a peculiar Bitemark on the left buttock of Lisa Levy. The Bitemark was photographed by police officers. Ted bundy was the prime suspect in these two murders, therefore all his teeth were carefully photographed, and impressions were taken and matched with those found on the victim’s body. The Bitemark left on the victim was easily distinguishable. Bundy’s Anterior teeth had unique characteristics, such as: chipping on teeth and misalignment of anterior teeth, including sharp bicuspid teeth. The same matched completely with the Bitemark left on Lisa Levy’s body [4]. It was due to this Bitemark that Bundy was proven guilty during trial and charged with murder [4].

Further details on the case can be viewed on the following link: https://sites.google.com/site/tedbundythelastbitemark/the-famous-bitemark-case [4].

 

References:

1. N. Balachander, N. Aravindha Babu, Sudha Jimson, C. Priyadharsini, and K.M.K Masthan. Evolution of Forensic Odontology: An Overview.

2. Ramasamy C., Dentistry’s Cardinal Role in Forensic Odontology’, Iranian J. Public Health, 2014; 43: 1152-3.

3. Sansare, K. Forensic Odontology. Historical restorations to changes brought about by environmental perspective. Indian J Dent Res 1995; 6:55.

4. Ted Bundy-The Final Bitemark. Available Online at - https://sites.google.com/site/tedbundythelastbitemark/the-famous-bitemark-case . Last Accessed: 19/05/2019.