Biometric Technologies for Forensic Science and Policing: State of the Art

  • Christophe Champod
  • Massimo Tistarelli
Part of the Advances in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition book series (ACVPR)


In the last decades, biometric technologies have been applied in forensic investigations only to a limited extent of their possibilities. A number of factors have hindered the wider adoption of these technologies to operational scenarios. However, there have been a number of successful applications where biometric technologies were crucial to support investigation and to provide evidence in court. Given the great potential of biometric technologies for objective and quantitative evidence evaluation, it would be desirable to see a wider deployment of these technologies, in a standardized manner, among police forces and forensic institutes. In this chapter, after a review of the actual state of the art in forensic biometric systems, we try to identify some avenues to facilitate the application of advanced biometric technologies in forensic practice. Despite their impressive performance, some recent biometric technologies have never been applied to forensic evaluation. Other technologies will need adaptations to be ready for the forensic field. We postulate that there is a challenge to be faced with more advanced tools and testing on operational data. This will require a joint effort involving stakeholders and scientists from multiple disciplines as well as a greater involvement of forensic institutes and police forensic science departments.


Crime Scene Biometric System Vein Pattern Forensic Expert Biometric Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research is based upon work supported by the European Commission under the project COST IC1106 “Biometrics and Forensics for the Digital Age” and H2020 MSCA RISE 690907 “IDENTITY”.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.PolComIng, Computer Vision LaboratoryUniversity of SassariSassariItaly

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