Glowing tags to reveal hidden prints

Scientists have described a new system for visualising hidden crime scene fingerprints.

Despite several enhancement techniques already in use, only about 10% of fingerprints from crime scenes are of sufficient quality to be used in court.

The technique is based around fluorescent chemical tags and works on metal surfaces, meaning it could be used on knives, guns or bullet casings.

Details were outlined at the Faraday Discussions lecture series in Durham.

Notwithstanding DNA, fingerprints are still the major source of identification in criminal investigations, co-author Prof Robert Hillman, from the University of Leicester, told BBC News.

When someone asks: ‘Haven’t we been doing this for a century, why do we need another method?’ Our answer is: ‘To image the 90% we don’t currently get’ — via

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