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Footwear marks

Footwear marks

Now we look at footwear marks and tyre marks.

We have provided two links in the ‘see also’ resources at the bottom of this page. Both of these are relating to the materials in the video. The first is the link to the page describing the parts of the shoe and the second is a link to the US Scientific working group for shoeprint and tire tread evidence (SWGTREAD), where there are some videos (in the resource section) and other useful information to have a look at.

Footwear marks and tyre marks are important types of impression evidence as they have the potential of associating a vehicle or a shoe to a particular place from which the impression was recovered. The recovery of these impressions is not always straightforward and often will involve taking a plaster cast of the impression if it is three dimensional, or trying to lift and recover the mark if it is two dimensional.

In some circumstances the mark may have to be chemically enhanced – for example if it is made in blood or soil – and techniques similar to those involved with fingerprints can be used.

The interpretation of tyremarks and footwear marks follows a similar methodology to that of other impression evidence where class characteristics and individual characteristics are examined, compared and evaluated in light of the case circumstances. In these cases databases can also be used.

After you’ve watched the video the next activity provides you with a means to make your own footwear marks.

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Introduction to Forensic Science

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