Forensic Science

Home Office written question – answered on 14th March 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Helic Baroness Helic Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued to police and forensic nurses regarding the use of Alternative Light Sources to detect bruising on dark skin; and what steps they are taking to support the use of this process.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office has not issued any official guidance.

The identification and interpretation of bruising is medical opinion and well established (see for example Assessment of bruise age on dark-skinned individuals using tristimulus colorimetry - PubMed ( in terms of amount of force, type of impact and longevity. Darker skin makes it more difficult but not impossible to examine. Various light sources and other means can be used to reveal or enhance the information which is a branch of forensic photography.

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