Over the past hundred years, fingerprinting as a science has been receiving powerful development due to its significant assistance to law enforcement agencies in solving crimes. At the same time, the involvement of new forensic sciences revealed some fingerprint errors that may be made in the inquiry (Peterson et al., 2009). It puts the scientific community in front of the need to establish a broader evidence base for fingerprint analysis, which includes peer review and clearer recognition of this field as a science.
First of all, the acceptance of fingerprinting by the scientific community leads to the most accurate analysis of the collected evidence. The process is accompanied by the introduction of certain policies and regulatory procedures, separate premises, laboratories, and appropriate employee qualifications (National Forensic Science Technology Center, n.d.). As a result, it accelerates the work of law enforcement agencies and helps avoid human error. Quality control of the samples obtained is greatly simplified if the forensic medical examination has specific programs and standards that must be followed during work. Thus, scientific recognition plays a fundamental role in enhancing the reputation of fingerprinting and improving the examination results.
Moreover, peer review is becoming an important part of increasing the scientific value of fingerprinting. In the modern world, criminology resorts to computerized systems to search for matches of samples involving the work of police officers and technicians (National Forensic Science Technology Center, n.d.). Nevertheless, an expert with appropriate training and experience should perform the final analysis. The peer review determines whether validation, as conducted, should be accepted, rejected, or require minor or major changes (Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology, 2011). This approach minimizes the likelihood of mistakes by law enforcement agencies, which is the basis for increasing the importance of fingerprinting. By applying various verification methods to improve the quality of the analysis result, experts contribute to the scientific significance of the presented field.
National Forensic Science Technology Center. (n.d.). A Simplified Guide to Fingerprint Analysis [PDF document].
Peterson, P. E., Dreyfus, C. B., Gische, M. R., Hollars, M., Roberts, M. A., Ruth, R. M., Webster, H. M. & Soltis, G. L. (2009). Latent prints: A perspective on the state of the science. Forensic Science Communications, 11(4).
Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology. (2011). The standard for the Validation and Performance Review of Friction Ridge Impression Development and Examination Techniques (Latent/Tenprint) [PDF document].