Author(s): Esseiva P, Ioset S, Anglada F, Gast L, Ribaux O,
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Abstract Organised criminality is a great concern for national/international security. The demonstration of complex crimes is increasingly dependant on knowledge distributed within law-enforcement agencies and scientific disciplines. This separation of knowledge creates difficulties in reconstructing and prosecuting such crimes. Basic interdisciplinary research in drug intelligence combined with crime analysis, forensic intelligence, and traditional law enforcement investigation is leading to important advances in crime investigation support. Laboratory results constitute one highly dependable source of information that is both reliable and testable. Their operational use can support investigation and even provide undetected connections or organisation of structure. The foremost difficulties encountered by drug analysts are not principally of a chemical or analytical nature, but methodologies to extract parameters or features that are deemed to be crucial for handling and contextualising drug profiling data. An organised memory has been developed in order to provide accurate, timely, useful and meaningful information for linking spatially and temporally distinct events on a national and international level (including cross-border phenomena). Literature has already pointed out that forensic case data are amenable for use in an intelligence perspective if data and knowledge of specialised actors are appropriately organised, shared and processed. As a particular form of forensic case data, the authors' research focuses on parameters obtained through the systematic physical and chemical profiling of samples of illicit drugs. The procedure is used to infer and characterise links between samples that originate from the same and different seizures. The discussion will not, however, focus on how samples are actually analysed and compared as substantial literature on this topic already exists. Rather, attention is primarily drawn to an active and close collaboration between magistrates, forensic scientists, law enforcement investigators and crime analysts from different institutions with the aim of generating, using and validating relevant profiling case data as integral part of investigative and crime analysis processes. Original advances are highlighted through experiences from criminal investigations of offences related to the unlawful importation, exportation, supply and possession of illicit drugs.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int
and referenced in Biology and Medicine