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Chemical Criminalistics

Specialised forensic analysis of crime scene evidence.

About our Chemical Criminalistics service

Our Chemical Criminalistics Unit provides specialised forensic analysis of ignitable liquids, explosives, and trace evidence for the NSW Justice System and other government departments.

It examines forensic trace evidence samples and reports on casework findings, providing expert evidence on all elements of forensic trace investigations.

It supports criminal investigations into arson, homicide, kidnapping, serious assault, sexual assault, gang-related and organised crime, and terrorism incidents.

Service overview

Ignitable Liquids and Explosives

The team analyses fire scene debris for possible ignitable liquid residues and offers:

  • collection kits for analysis of ignitable liquid residues from crime scenes and suspects
  • analysis and identification of trace and bulk explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics
  • analysis and identification of riot control agents
  • analysis of suspected chemical warfare agents.

The experts working in this team are members of the National Chemical Warfare Agent Laboratories Network.

Trace Evidence

This team analyses and interprets evidence including fibres, paint, and glass.

It performs gunshot residue analysis and interprets evidence relating to firearms chemistry including:

  • analysing hand and clothing samples of suspects in shooting incidents
  • comparing gunshot residue composition from suspect samples with related fired cartridge cases.

The unit can analyse miscellaneous materials including tapes, plastics, adhesives, cosmetic traces and lubricants and help identify unknown chemicals and materials.

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