Fingerprint Services

FDS has a modern and well equipped fingerprint examination laboratory accepting criminal, civil and private cases encompassing all aspects of fingerprint analysis. We have two primary fingerprint imaging systems (VSC6000 and DCS4), a cyanoacrylate (superglue) fuming chamber, chemical development capabilities and a complete physical development fingerprint kit containing standard black, magnetic and florescent powders. 

What we do
  • development and detection of latent fingermark deposits using physical, chemical and photo-analytical techniques on various substrates (objects)
  • enhancement and imaging of developed fingerprints
  • comparison of developed prints with a known set of fingerprints
  • collection of ink fingerprints (known samples) – rolled impressions taken for the purpose of comparison with a questioned print
  • training in the handling and packaging of exhibits to be sent for fingerprint development
  • delivering seminars on the history of fingerprints, development techniques, enhancement, recording and reporting
  • independent review of reports prepared by other fingerprint examiners
  • presentation of expert evidence in both criminal and civil cases
  • taking fingerprints for travel Visas and other applications 
Our development processes

The examinations commence with optical examinations, followed by one or a combination of the development processes outlined below, followed again by optical examinations.

Image capture and enhancement occurs at each stage where a fingerprint is revealed.

1,2-Indanedione Zinc - A chemical reagent that is used to develop latent fingerprints on porous surfaces (paper and cardboard).

Cyanoacrylate fuming - Often referred to as “superglue fuming”, cyanoacrylate can be used to develop latent fingerprints on objects that are non porous or semi porous (aluminium cans, CD covers, plastic bottles, etc).

Powdering - Standard black and/or magnetic powders can be used to physically develop fingerprints on non porous surfaces such as window panes, car doors, plastics, door handles etc.

Related case studies: 

Not my signature on that guarantee

Fingerprint examinations are not confined to criminal matters: their application in civil matters is becoming increasingly relevant.

Re-examination of crime scene

FDS was asked to consult in a murder investigation.  Our fingerprint examiners were briefed by investigators at the scene and conducted an examination for any potential latent fingerprints that were not detected at the time the police crime scene team attended.  FDS found that

Who sent the threatening letters?

A mother was receiving a continuous stream of anonymous correspondence containing seriously threatening content relating to her children.  Once the document examination aspect had been completed, the FDS fingerprint examiners chemically processed the letters for latent fi