Posts Tagged ‘Fingerprint’

You’re reading a crime novel, totally absorbed in the author’s style, the setting and so far, the pace of the book.

Lets say that the telephone at the victims house was used after her death.  The receiver is hanging off the hook.  It would be a safe guess that the suspect handled the receiver to place or receive a call.  Fingerprints are found.  DNA is recovered from saliva around the mouth piece.  It’s the only clear forensic sample to be found. There are others samples on the receiver but they have been contaminated beyond use by the last handler.

However, it is revealed that the suspect may never be caught because the police managed to destroy vital evidence.

How so? Well believe it or not, the first officer on the scene was not your traditional, fictional Senior Investigating Officer but PC Bigfoot, dressed in a distinctive patrol uniform.  The Constable took it upon himself to call his wife on the deceased’s telephone to let her know that he would be late home from work as he was likely to be stuck at the murder scene for some time.  Is that really plausible?  Would your readers believe it if you’d written it?

Well, if you want to complicate a “simple” murder investigation, throw in the incompetent first officer on the scene.  They do exist.  Look at the following article for just one example.

Oh, by the way, Senior Detectives have been known to get it wrong as well, deeming them self far cleverer than the forensic team that is likely to follow them into the scene.

Don’t forget your copy of Writers, Researchers and the Police at an introductory price to the first 50 purchasers. For more information follow the image below

Writers, Researchers and the Police 2014 Cover


Secure your place NOW on the November 2012 Crime Fiction – Making it Real, weekend workshop designed for writers interested in learning more about the police, their procedures and practices.  There will be time to immerse yourselves in case studies and to bring along your very own questions to be answered.  Check out the Autumn 2012 Workshop page for more details.

For more information, contact me via e-mail at  –

It seemed a long time coming but when it did finally arrive, it flew.

From a personal point of view, the weekend far exceeded my expectations.  To top it all, I met a great bunch of people who were attentive, keen to learn and better still, keen to share their knowledge and help their peers.

What I’m talking about is the very first Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop, held at the West Yorkshire Police Training and Development Centre.

Delegates came to Wakefield from as far away as Avon and Somerset, Devon, Essex, the big city – London and Northumbria as well as places closer to the venue.

But don’t take my word for how good it was, read some of the feedback received –

Barbara  – Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course.

I wanted a general overview of the police and procedures which I think you covered very well. Even if you don’t use a lot of it in the writing, it is useful background to get an idea of how a whole police station would operate. The stuff on the Major incident teams and crime scenes etc was very useful. I guess writers are also interested in dialogue so discussing interviews etc was also helpful.  I also found the stuff on who certifies death, the role of the coroner etc helpful.  The stuff on serious criminal, like rapists was very good as was the discussion of forensic profilers.  t skimmed through the CD and it will be an excellent resource for us.

We were quite a demanding audience and you handled the questions very well. I really did enjoy it. A big part as well is the other attendees and I got a lot out of talking to the others in break times.

Caroline  – Thanks for a terrific course and for your individual attention with my plot, really appreciated. A great weekend and I am now energised and armed to complete the book hopefully with my cop facts right.

CJ – I wanted to thank you for a very stimulating and informative weekend. I learnt a lot and especially valued having my specific questions all dealt with. Overall, it was a fun weekend and a great experience and I will recommend it to other crime writers.  I could tell you put a lot into organising everything for us and it paid off big time.

Gareth – I’d like to thanks you so much for an amazing weekend.  I felt so fortunate to meet you and so many wonderful people.  The course was very informative.  The main strength of the course was you.  You were clearly knowledgeable and presented the information in a friendly, easy to understand way, but, above all, your great sense of humour made it so much fun.

Ian – It was a great course thanks,

Jan – It was brilliant.  I’ve done over 20 OU courses and about 13 summer schools – and this has to be up there with the best of them.  I really enjoyed the whole thing.

It was exactly what I needed to convince myself that non-police personnel stand a chance of writing crime – both from the point of view of the information received (and thank you so much for the DVD, it’s excellent) and from being able to meet with published authors and non-published authors in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  I thought it did exactly what it said on the tin – it explained the structure and routines and left me in a much better position to track down my own information, and to know what level of information I need to include.

It was obvious so much thought had gone into the whole weekend.  I also felt the tone was exactly right.  Serious subjects, but tackled in an intelligent and light-hearted way, which was just the right balance for me.  I’d be back like a shot for further courses

Linda  – Just a quick line to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated this weekend. I think you covered every question I thought I might ask and covered a good many I didn’t even know I needed to ask! You surpassed all my expectations of what might be got out of the sessions, and I think I will be referring back to the information on the DVD for a long time to come.

Lesley – Firstly thanks for the workshop, you obviously did a lot of hard work to produce it.  I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. I got a lot from it and learnt things I didn’t know. In fact I have created a new main character for my next book from those who are co-opted onto the enquiry (more later). T he DVD of information is an excellent resource.  Weekends like this are as much about talking to other people during the breaks and in the evening as about the workshop itself and we had plenty of time for that.

Maggie – You often don’t realise what you want to know until you know it and it provokes further questioning! I was open to consuming new knowledge that I could utilise along the way within my writing. I think I gained a new perspective through the course.  At the time I felt that being informed about the different uniforms was not necessary – in hindsight I feel that it was totally in context with the rest of the content once I had done the two days. It helps that you can take notes of thought provoking ideas rather than have to scribble everything that is said down and miss the overall aim/ambience.  During the course it was thought provoking and I am sure many of us have come away with some ideas for plot lines.  All in all I would definitely recommend this course to anyone considering it. Meeting the variety of people that were there was also interesting, some of us will definitely stay in touch and thus we are able to widen our network of contacts/writers/new friends.  10/10!

Paul – I enjoyed the weekend immensely and it was tremendous value for money. The extensive CD alone was worth the workshop fee and it contains everything the crime writer could wish for.  I think you provided a very good ‘walk through’ of what actual happens at the scene of a major crime and the different roles etc.  In conclusion it was an excellent experience

Sheila – I got loads from the course.  Lots of little gems will stay in my mind for further use.  I love anecdotes from people’s working lives, details that you will never get from a manual such as the spitting prisoner in a cage in a van.  The role play on tracing a wanted bod taught me how to think investigation.

Tom – I found the weekend most useful and the content and materials we subsequently received will prove valuable reference sources for crime writing. I got all the factual material I needed – and more. In fact I would suggest you were over-generous in how much info you released.

Wanda – I just want to say how much I enjoyed the weekend, and I certainly learnt a great deal. I am also delighted with the CD. You have been very generous with your knowledge, time and information and I am sure that I will now have a much better idea on how to proceed with my crime novel.

Anyone interested in signing up for the second workshop, drop me a line at

For those of you not sure of what you missed, take a look at the original post for the Crime Fiction – Making it Real workshop.


Image via Wikipedia


 A state-of-the art device that can digitally match up fingerprints in minutes has been making its mark with officers at the sharp end of policing.

The MobileID kit – which is run from a BlackBerry smartphone – has now seen some extensive use since it was first deployed earlier in the year.

And with the means to check a suspect’s prints against the thousands on the National Fingerprint Database anywhere in the country, officers are reporting excellent results.

Sgt Simon Goss, of the Roads Policing Unit Proactive Team at Hampshire Constabulary said MobileID was an outstanding and highly versatile tool.

Sgt Goss told “We are getting some fantastic results with it – results that we would not have secured by using any other policing methods.

“We have now had this equipment for some time in Hampshire Constabulary and it has really proved its worth – you can rapidly establish identification.”

Sgt Goss was speaking after the fingerprinting device – which was launched by the NPIA over the summer – played an instrumental role in allowing officers from Hampshire to identify an unconscious man in intensive care.

A hospital had contacted the Force after admitting the seriously ill patient, and an officer swiftly provided rapid confirmation who they were treating.

Identification of unconscious or fatal victims at a crime, accident scene or hospital has proved one of the key benefits that the MobileID service is delivering

An average saving of at least 30 minutes per case are among the other advantages.

The devices have now been deployed to more than half of forces in England and Wales this year, helping to cut the number of trips officers make back to the police station and giving them more time to spend out and about.

Nick Deyes, NPIA head of the Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS) said: “This is a great example of how MobileID is not only an effective tool in the fight against crime, but also a piece of technology that can be used to help identify victims who have been seriously injured.

“This is a very promising start for a new service that is proving to be an asset.”

DCC Peter Goodman, who is the ACPO spokesperson for the equipment, added: “The functionality that MobileID offers benefits to more than just the Police Service.

“As this example shows, the technology can also assist other agencies and the public. Over the coming months I expect to see more and more examples which highlight the advantages of using MobileID,” he emphasised.


If you feel hindered, worry not.  Let me know what it is you’re trying to achieve and let me see how I can help progress your story.