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Forensics – Fingerprint Expert Evidence

Speaker: Simon Bunter
Chambers: Keith Borer Consultants

Mr Bunter has been employed as a Fingerprint Specialist since 1997, initially with North Yorkshire Police as a Fingerprint Expert and latterly with Keith Borer Consultants in an enhanced role as a Forensic Scientist. As a Fingerprint Expert he specialises in the identification of fingerprints and establishing whether errors have occurred. Mr Bunter is experienced in scrutinising the practices and procedures of fingerprint comparisons including the methodology and accuracy of results.

In this presentation, Simon Bunter discusses the process of the analysis of fingerprint comparisons, showing how fingerprints are “identified.” He provides a working example of when two experienced experts disagree. He then goes on to outline his own analysis, before explaining how fingerprint evidence can be evaluated in court by both the prosecution and the defence.

Key words/topics

  • Fingerprint identification
  • Ridge characteristics
  • Academic research
  • Corresponding characteristics
  • Comparison
  • High confidence characteristics
  • Low confidence characteristics
  • Evidential weight
  • Subsidiary ridge
  • Forensic Regulator’s guidance
  • The Fingerprint Inquiry Scotland Recommendations
  • Cognitive bias