Fingerprint technology which can detect the brand of hair gel used by a suspect or whether they have handled a condom could soon be admissible in court.
The technique uses a form of mass spectrometry to detect traces of various substances within a fingerprint.
It can provide “diverse information” about a suspect, including any alcohol or drug use, researchers have said.
The Home Office said it could be “only months” before it is used in casework.
Teams from Sheffield Hallam University have been working with West Yorkshire Police to pilot the technique.
Project lead Dr Simona Francese said the technology had been used to detect blood in a 30-year-old print, meaning it could be used in cold case reviews.
“I would want to see this technology in high-profile cases such a murder or rape. It’s very sophisticated, it’s expensive but it’s worthwhile,” she added.
Source: BBC News