Putting crime under the microscope

Co-located with the Security & Counter Terror Expo, Forensics Europe Expo is the leading annual event for the entire forensic sector and supply chain. Counter Terror Business offers an insight into the conference programme and seminars of 2017’s event

Taking place on the 3-4 May 2017 at Olympia London, Forensics Europe Expo is the only international exhibition and conference that showcases the latest equipment and services as well as providing the definitive source of education, best practice, training and networking. Unlike any other event, Forensics Europe Expo offers a unique 360 degree viewpoint of the entire forensics industry; whether your interest is in laboratory equipment, scene of crime, digital investigation or forensic analysis.

Hoping to build upon the success of last year, Forensics Europe Expo 2016 saw a 60 per cent increase in new visitors with over 1,250 attendees over the two days. One in three of such attendees said that they would recommend the show to a friends with 84 per cent saying that they would attend the 2017 show. Additionally, there was a 50 per cent increase in exhibitors.

Conference 2017
The Forensic Europe Expo conference has established itself as one of the most important forums for debate for the international forensics and digital forensics community. It brings together senior opinion formers from all fields of forensic science for a two-day conference that explores the latest advances in this rapidly evolving discipline.

Day one will be dedicated to the changing digital forensic landscape with sessions covering all aspects of computer forensics from e-discovery and network analysis to mobile forensics and CCTV. The second day of the conference will explore the wider forensic landscape from laws and standards to new forensic techniques and innovations being used and developed across the world as well as developments in Familial DNA and cutting edge research in palaeontology and mycology.

With the aim of connecting with industry professionals from across the world, key speakers at the conference include: Dr Gillian Tully, UK Forensic Regulator; Giles Herdale, programme director of the Digital Intelligence and Investigation Programme, National Police Chiefs Council; Paul Young, crime adviser and digital forensics specialist at the National Crime Agency; Brian Donald, chief of staff at Europol; Jane Taylor Barron, National Crime Agency; Marcel de Puit, forensic chemist at Netherlands Forensic Institute; and DS Antti Kurittu, team leader of the IT crimes investigation unit, Helsinki Police.

Shaping the future
Visitors to day one of the conference will first hear the opening remarks of Peter Sommer, head of digital forensics at Birmingham City University. The opening address will be followed by Dr Gillian Tulley’s presentation on the ‘Latest information on setting the UK standards in forensic science’. Tully has worked in forensic science for over 25 years, specialising in DNA, innovation, validation and enhancement of quality standards. Her work has included provision of expert evidence to courts in the UK and overseas, and extensive collaborative working with forensic practitioners around the world. In November 2014, Gill took up the appointment of Forensic Science Regulator and is responsible for setting standards in forensic science.

Crime has gone digital and the latest ONS figures show that cyber crime and fraud are the new volume crimes. Therefore, Giles Hurdle will host the second conference session on day one of the Forensics Europe Expo on the topic of ‘The digital investigation of the future - challenges and opportunities’. Herdale leads the work to develop the strategic approach of the police service to addressing the threats and opportunities of the digital age. Giles works for CC Stephen Kavanagh, the national policing lead for digital intelligence and investigation, and co-ordinates the work of the Capability Management Group, a collaboration between the National Police Chiefs Council, College of Policing, National Crime Agency and Home Office, to develop police capabilities nationally, regionally and locally. Before the scheduled break in the Exhibition Hall, the National Crime Agency’s Paul Young will focus upon ‘Changing dynamics - digital media in investigations’.

The last of the morning’s session will hear from: John Beckwith, head of forensics at Staffordshire Police and project advisor for ISO17025 at the National Police Chiefs Council, who will discuss ‘ISO17025 - working towards implementing minimum digital forensics standards in policing’; Detective Sergeant Adam Riley, of the Homicide Investigation Unit at Queensland Police; and Alex Caithness, principal analyst for CCL Forensics.

The afternoon sessions have more of a software feel to them, with Bournemouth University’s Professor Matthew Bennett discussing ‘DigTrace: three-dimensional analysis of footwear traces’. Footwear impressions provide an important source of evidence within a range of criminal investigations, with Bennett exploring the reasons for why in intricate detail. This will be followed by Antti Kurittu, of the National Cyber Security Centre of Finland, who will present on the topic of ‘Kirjuri: An open-source digital forensic evidence management system’. The NCSC-FI is a part of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, and Kurittu currently works with incident response at the national CERT and designing cyber exercises for critical infrastructure providers. Peter Sommer will then bring day one of the conference to an end with his closing remarks.

International criminal investigations
Brian Donald will host the first of the sessions on day two of the conference. Donald, who is Chief of Staff at Europol, will address ‘The growing and evolving role of forensic science in major international criminal investigations’.

‘The evolving investigative avenue of Familial DNA’ will be explored by Jane Taylor-Barron, crime investigative support officer at the National Crime Agency. In her role, Taylor-Barron provides strategic and tactical advice to major and serious crime investigations being conducted by police forces or the National Crime Agency. This can involve providing investigative suggestions, linking the SIO in with peer support from around the country, advising regarding best practice and identifying and co-ordinating other specialist resources from within the NCA that may enhance an investigation.

The Netherlands Forensic Institute has developed a database, together with the police, for splinters of glass. The (trace) elemental composition of the glass may prove whether suspects of violent robberies or ATM raids were present at one or more crime scenes. Day two of the conference will hear from Marcel de Puit and Andrew van Es from the Netherlands Forensic Institute. de Puit will be presenting on ‘Fingerprints, the source and beyond - innovative research into the unique composition of fingerprints’, before van Es explains ‘A touch of glass: development of an innovative glass database’.

The afternoon sessions will see delegates hear from Dr Claire Gwinnett, associate professor in Forensic and Crime Science, from Staffordshire University, who will conduct a stream on ‘Contamination issues at crime scenes: time for a change... of clothing?’. Furthermore, Michael Allard, a former detective at Massachusetts Police Department, looks at ‘Forensic mapping of crime scenes using laser technology’, providing a comprehensive look into modern crime scene mapping technologies and will discuss the pros and cons of modern mapping tools. Since the history of crime scene investigation, the concern was how to best visualise the scene to the jury.

There are many cases worldwide involving the missing and the disappeared. The ongoing search for clandestine graves, the families given hope when a possible location has been found, only to learn that it was another negative result. Addressing this will be Dr Carole Davenport, a forensic anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, who hosts a session on ‘Searching for clues: how a combined approach comprising forensic anthropology, archaeology and geology disciplines can breathe new life into crime scene investigations’.

The Seminar & Workshop Theatre 2017
The Seminar & Workshop Theatre at Forensics Europe Expo 2017 will see a range of forensic techniques showcased under the spotlight. Forensic experts will discuss the successes, challenges and lessons that they have faced and learnt to help delegates improve their expertise, and further their career progression by developing their ability to investigate skills and find out about the latest project efficiencies.

Topics covered in the Seminar & Workshop Theatre include: forensic methods and techniques of developing latent fingerprints on different surfaces; high speed gunshot residue analysis; high powered, light-weight, robust forensic lasers; new technology for contactless latent print detection; how advanced mobile phone forensics with camera ballistics brings remarkable new results; and deep diving for forensic gold – applications, and deleted data. The Workshop Theatre is free to attend.

Exhibition 2017
Over 100 countries are represented at the show, with nearly 100 international exhibitors showcasing over 3,000 products that makes meeting hard-to-reach decision makers an easy process. The exhibition serves to connect hard to reach buyers and specifiers with the products that will make a difference in their place of work and wider industry. Exhibitors are able to showcase their latest products and conduct live demonstrations for maximum exposure, with over 85 per cent of exhibitors who attended the 2016 event agreeing that the expo delivers good or excellent return on investment.

Visitors and Exhibitors come from all over the world to network and explore opportunities in new markets. Over 25 per cent of visitors attended from outside the UK.

Darlene Alvar, global marketing and sales manager for Amped Software, shared her experiences, saying: “Forensics Europe Expo is one of the few international events that is truly focused on digital Forensics. we have attended as an exhibitor for the past two years and will attend again in 2016 as we believe this is the place to be to showcase our products to key customers in the UK and other international markets.”

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