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Investigating a crime from University

The Faculty of Law of Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid has a Crime Lab pioneer in Spain of these features since a couple of months ago. There, students can learn and investigate the three main branches of classic criminalistics: forensic ballistics, lofoscopia and calligraphy or forensic document.

To the avant-garde technical materials, similar to those used at official Crime and Scientific Police Labs we incorporate professors with renowned experience and knowledge both national and international. These ingredients provide students of the Degree in Criminology with unique education.

To determine the type of weapon, the intention of the shot and the potential randomness of the shot of a weapon with safety mechanism are some of the skills the students will get to know. As explained by professor Adolfo Busta, “work tools, the necessary microscope, data bases and bibliography and the experience of professors help students work in a normal crime situation, because we have the same work procedures and tools necessary to accurately accomplish the duty of the expert in this case in forensic ballistics”.

With theoretical and practical lessons students can compare finger prints of a crime scene to identify the criminal by lofoscopia, determine if a note is real or false thanks to the videospectrum comparator, make visual inspections with the forensic case or compare writings using graphological techniques.

Another area studied at the Lab is calligraphy or forensic document. At the Lab students study security contrasts to verify the existence of water marks in notes, holograms, safety threads or fluorescent inks among others. Moreover, through a thorough handwriting analysis it is possible to determine the authenticity or falsehood of a signature or the identification of a handwritten text.

Lofoscopia or the identification of people using finger prints is learnt by students making dactyloscopic studies and by revealing finger prints. They even learn about technical and scientific procedures for finger print regeneration applied to unidentified corpses as well as protocols of action to identify victims in Major Disasters. Finally, by learning lofoscopia they also learn to study and compare finger prints to identify a person with potential candidates.