Crime

  • Science
    Despite what we see on TV and in movies, analyzing and matching latent prints is a difficult business and still the province of experts. But now scientists from NIST and Michigan State University are using algorithms and machine learning as a way to automate the process and make it more efficient.
  • Science
    ​Gamma hydroxybutyric acid – aka GHB – is a popular "date rape" drug. Unfortunately for law enforcement officials, it can only be detected in the body for a few hours after being ingested. Thanks to new research, however, there may soon be another way of proving that someone has been given GHB.
  • ​Sometimes, instead of trying to defeat a cyclist's high-security lock, bicycle thieves will actually saw through the rack to which a bike is locked. It's been happening in Portland, Oregon, so the city is installing a new type of bike-parking rack that just says No to saws.
  • Science
    Luminol is a chemical used by forensic investigators, which glows blue when exposed to blood. It's typically combined with hydrogen peroxide as a coreactant, although this can produce false positives. Scientists have recently had better luck by instead mixing it with an antimalarial compound.​
  • If any place in the world is moving towards a Bladerunner-esque, sci-fi future, it's Dubai. The city is now introducing robots into its police force with the first cop-bot starting work this week and plans for 25 percent of its force to be robotic by 2030.
  • ​​​Drones offer a pretty effective ways to move goods, including the smuggling of drugs, phones and other contraband into prisons. So much so, that the UK has set up a specialist police squad to track down enterprising crime groups that use the aircraft for these kinds of nefarious purposes. ​
  • A criminal who knew what they were doing was wrong faces harsher penalties than someone who was acting recklessly, but it's hard to know where that line is. In a move that could help clear things up, neuroscientists have found that brain imaging techniques can tell the difference.
  • Machine learning algorithms are already aiding police forces around the world, with systems designed to identify crime hotspots with the goal of preventing crimes before they occur. The Dubai Police is the latest to have AI backup, in the form of SIME's new Crime Prediction software.
  • Science
    A team of scientists at Flinders University in Australia have developed a new technique for analyzing gunshot residue that is so sensitive that it's possible to match residue with a specific brand of ammunition.
  • Science
    Crime scene investigators already have plenty to worry about. But now they've got one more foe; squirrels. We’re not joking. The rodents with razor-sharp incisors chew up crime scenes to maintain their dentition, says new research led by James Pokines at the Boston University School of Medicine.
  • Science
    A new model attempts to explain the higher violent crime rates seen in parts of the world near the equator with hotter climates.
  • Science
    Using a new technique, investigators could soon be better able to determine how many days ago fingerprints were left at a crime scene.