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New forensics technology can detect blood specks on dark clothing within seconds

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orensics scientists are now able to spot tiny specks of blood on dark clothing in a matter of seconds, sometimes resulting in crucial evidence.

Traditional methods, which have been used for 100 years, involve hours of painstaking examination but the new technology means suspects can be quickly identified or eliminated in a murder investigation, for example.

An increasing number of violent crimes in London are being committed by people wearing dark clothing and blood needs to be found rapidly for DNA testing.

Developed by the Metropolitan Police, the new infrared (IR) technology speeds up the process, spotting blood almost immediately in some circumstances, even if it is less than a millimetre in diameter.

These tiny spots of blood can often be crucial evidence.

Forensic examiners show the traditional method of detecting blood (James Manning/PA) / PA Wire

Alan Tribe, the Met’s director of forensic operations, said forensic scientists have been looking for bloodstains since around 1813, and since then identifying blood on dark clothing has been a challenge.

He told the PA news agency: “It is a challenge that we have encountered over several decades but it’s been an increasing issue as we look to tackle violence – tackling violence is the Met’s highest priority.

“We know that the dynamics of some violent offences in London are that we see stabbings in the street and we would look for the transfer of bloodstains between items of clothing.

“Increasingly as we look around the streets of London, we’ll see that dark clothing is favoured.

“It’s pretty routine for us to see black t-shirts, dark vests, dark puffer jackets, dark hoodies appearing as items that we need to search for blood.”

He added that there is an imperative from an investigative point of view to tackle violence and bring offenders to justice.

Mr Tribe explained: “We know that in those offences we see the transfer of bloodstains and we know that sometimes extremely small bloodstains on which these cases can hinge.

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