Procedures for Preserving Evidence
One of the best ways of ensuring the preservation of evidence is to understand the processes that destroy evidence on documents and this would be discussed during an initial telephone communication. Indications as to the best way of preserving evidence, handling and dispatching documents to the laboratory can be given.
Once the decision has been made to have documents forensically examined, it should be noted that routinely most questioned documents submitted for examination will be subjected to ESDA examination. Excessive handling, folding, crumpling etc of the document will cause a deterioration of impressions present that could potentially result in the loss of valuable evidence. It will therefore be appreciated that acquainting oneself with the best way to care properly for documents can be of paramount importance.
On arrival at the laboratory, documents are checked and booked in and when not in use would be held in a secure area in a safe.
Routine examinations undertaken are all of a non-destructive nature. The necessity for destructive testing of papers or inks is, with the current equipment available, only very rarely required. No examinations which would cause any damage, defacement or modification to the document are ever undertaken without the permission of the owner of the document and would only be carried out after all parties' experts have completed their routine examinations.
Documents are returned by the preferred mode of transport as indicated by instructing clients, i.e. door-to-door courier, overnight courier, Royal Mail Special Delivery post etc or arrangements can be made for documents to be collected by hand.
The premises are fully alarmed with a link through to the police.
What We Offer
We offer a free of charge:
- Estimate of likely costs
- Initial brief discussion of the case with potential instructing solicitors over the telephone
- Outline of other potential examinations that may be available to extract the maximum evidence from the documents available
For a number of practical and ethical reasons, instruction is not taken from private individuals, only from members of the legal profession, law enforcement agencies, banks, companies etc.