Scene of crime technology and the methods used to gather evidence are continually evolving. The use of canines specifically trained to detect blood and semen is fast emerging as a significant resource in the securing of certain crime related evidence.
Traditional methods utilised by the crime scene investigator to discover blood traces involve large areas being sprayed with Luminol. This reacts with haemoglobin in the blood. This reaction is known as chemiluminescene and causes the blood to glow when subjected to an ultra violet light.
This method has certain negative factors. Luminol can damage other crucial evidence within the crime scene. The area must be subjected to a “black out” for the glow to be visible and certain common chemicals also produce a similar glow when sprayed with Luminol. Also, to be effective, the CSI must already have an idea of the general location of the crime scene.
The use of a blood detection dog combats the above negative factors, and when used in conjunction with traditional methods can offer an unrivalled identification technique.
A detection dog can cover large areas in a very short time. This is particularly useful when the exact location of the crime scene is not known. Correctly trained dogs will only indicate at the presence of the specific target odour, in this case blood. Therefore, compounds which react similarly to blood when they come into contact with Luminol have no impact on the detection dog and its ability to correctly identify blood traces.
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