Forensic scientists are primarily concerned with examining contact trace material associated with crimes. This follows the principle that 'every contact leaves a trace' that will offer potential evidence to link a suspect with the scene of the crime, the victim or the weapon.
Typical work activities include:
- Chemistry duties - the examination of paint, chemicals etc., including fire investigation and accident reconstruction.
- Biology duties - DNA testing and the examination of minute contact traces, such as blood, hair, clothing fibres etc.
- Drugs and toxicology testing for restricted drugs, examining tissue specimens for poison detection and the analysis of blood and urine samples.
- Attend and examine crime scenes.
- Justify findings under cross-examination in courts of law.
- Liaise with police to establish forensic strategies.