Projet Bertillon has recently launched. Coordinated by IdentiNet participants Ilsen About and Pierre Piazza, and hosted by Criminocorpus, this valuable online resource offers a comprehensive overview of the life and work of Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), a pioneer of forensic identification methods at the Paris Prefecture de Police whose criminological expertise ranged from mug shots, anthropometry, and dactyloscopy through file management and the analysis of crime scenes. The site, which is available in both English and French, contains innovative online galleries of Bertillon-related imagery as well as academic resources such as biographies, bibliographies, and links, and is also inviting the submission of new articles on Bertillon for online publication in 2011. For further information, please visit Projet Bertillon.
Posts Tagged 'Crime'
Tags: Bertillon, Biometrics, Crime, Fingerprinting, Forensics, France, Nineteenth Century, Photography, Policing, Profiling
Tags: Britain, CCTV, Civil Liberties, Crime, Military, Policing, Security, Surveillance, technology
The Guardian and The Telegraph newspapers ran stories this weekend reporting that UK police are planning to use unmanned ‘spy drones’, originally developed for surveillance in military contexts, to monitor antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves, and fly-tippers. According to the reports, an arms manufacturer is currently developing the so-called Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) – capable of taking high-resolution images from heights of up to 20,000ft – for civilian deployment, and that the drones could be in use by local forces in time for the London Olympics in 2012. For the full reports, see here (Guardian [includes video and comments]) and here (Telegraph).
Tags: Britain, Crime, Forgery, Identity Theft
The Observer newspaper ran a report yesterday on a growing breed of false documentation in the UK: fake payslips. According to the report, ‘dozens of websites are selling the high-quality documents which are being used as false proof of salary in applications to banks… [at the same time as] as mortgage lenders are being asked by the Financial Services Authority to become more reliant on documentation such as payslips’. Police are planning a crackdown on the websites, which offer a choice of designs and even calculate tax, national insurance and pension contributions on figures supplied (without verification) by clients. For the full story, see here. Picture: Flickr (CC)
Tags: Crime, Fingerprinting, Forensics, Legal Frameworks, Medicine, Policing
A one-day workshop to be held at Oxford Brookes University on Friday 4 December 2009 will explore ‘Legal Medicine and Expertise in History’. According to the organizers, ‘[T]he workshop is designed to facilitate intellectual exchange and debate between academics working on the history of forensic medicine, by bringing together scholars who study the subject in a variety of national contexts and across a broad period of time. It will engage with two central themes: the character and role of forensic medicine in Europe since the medieval period; and the relationship between medicine, the law and wider society as illuminated by the notion of ‘expertise’’. It promises to be rich in identification angles; for further details, including speaker information, full programme and abstracts, see the workshop webpage. Picture: Flickr (CC)
Tags: Civil Liberties, Crime, DNA Databases, Europe, Policy, Privacy, Registration, Security, Twentieth Century
The French journal Cultures & Conflits has dedicated its summer issue (number 74) to the theme of ‘Security and Data Protection’. Articles explore, amongst other things, the protection of personal data in transatlantic context, enlarging access to European databases and the EU’s strategy against organized crime, and the issue closes with an interview with Armand Mattelart conducted by IdentiNet member Didier Bigo. For further details, see the issue flyer (pdf). Articles (in French) and abstracts (In English) can be found on the journal website.
Tags: Biometrics, Crime, Eighteenth Century, Europe, Forensics, France, Policing, Registration
Vincent Denis, a Professor of Modern History at the Université de Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne , is due to deliver a paper at the University of Oxford entitled ‘Police and Identification in France, From the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic Empire’. Denis has published widely on the history of individual identification in eighteenth-century and Napoleonic France, and most recently is the author of Une histoire de l’identité: France, 1715-1815 (Champvallon: Seyssel, 2008). His paper will take place on Monday 27 April 2009 at 5.15pm in the Mordan Hall of St Hugh’s College; for more information see here.
Tags: CCTV, Crime, Forensics, Photography, Policing, Security, technology
Posted by Massimiliano Pagani. Paper submission is now open for the ‘Special Session on Forensic Image and Video Processing’ at the 6th International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis (ISPA 2009) that will take place in in Salzburg, Austria on 16-18 September 2009. The objective of this Special Session is to bring together researchers and police forces in order to answer new forensic challenges with state of the art image and video processing research. For more info see the conference website; the call for papers is also available as a pdf. The deadline for the submission of full papers is 15 April 2009.
Tags: Crime, Identity Theft, Imposture
The ‘1st International Conference on Villains and Villainy’ will be held at Mansfield College, Oxford on 19-21 September 2009. Papers are requested on ‘all aspects of villains and villainy’, and the proposed theme on ‘incarnations of the villainous’ would surely be incomplete without a liberal sprinkling of tricksters, impostors and identity thieves, in particular new readings of cause célébres such as the affair of the Tichborne Claimant (pictured). The deadline for 300-word abstracts is 17 April 2009; for full details and submission instructions see H-Net or the conference website. Picture: Public Domain
Tags: Appropriation, Britain, Crime, Fingerprinting, Forensics, technology, United States
A new technique for recovering fingerprints invented by a British forensic scientist is being implemented in the US. The method was developed by Dr John Bond, the scientific support manager of Northamptonshire Police and an Honorary Fellow of the Forensic Research Centre at the University of Leicester. It uses charged ceramic beads coated with black powder to disclose the unique patterns of salt corrosion left by human fingertips on metallic surfaces, especially shell casings; unlike normal fingerprint residues, these cannot be wiped off, are impervious to heat and do not deteriorate over time. Once revealed, they are baked, photographed and analysed in the standard manner. The technique, which has already been used in connection with half a dozen North American ‘cold cases’, is currently being applied to bullet casings found at the scene of an unsolved shooting which took place in Bristol, Connecticut in 1998. For more information, see BBC News. Picture: stock.xchng
Tags: Badging, Britain, Crime, Early Modern, Imposture, London, Passports, Registration
Paul Griffiths’ eagerly anticipated study of petty crime in early modern London – Lost Londons: Change, Crime and Control in the Capital City, 1550-1660 - has recently been published by Cambridge University Press, and is teeming with identification angles. It discloses a metropolis ‘flooded… with false papers’, in particular the counterfeit vagrant travel permits and forged beggars’ licenses around which a booming cottage industry developed. It also discusses the compulsory badging of fishwives, the false identities created by suspects and the use of bodily branding to signal dubious pasts (‘Like paper, bodies had spaces to put data that might come back to haunt a recidivist’), and devotes an innovative concluding chapter to the systematic recording of suspects’ names and offences in the Bridewell courtbooks. These ‘active archives’, carefully alphabeticised and often equipped with additional finding aids such as calendars, tables and indexes, were used by magistrates to piece together criminal biographies, and participated in a larger project of ‘numbering Londoners’ manifested elsewhere in parish registers, tax lists and censuses of vagrants, aliens, alehouse-keepers and street-sellers.