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Watch your step!: a frustrated total internal reflection approach to forensic footwear imaging

Needham, J.A.; Sharp, James S.


J.A. Needham


Forensic image retrieval and processing are vital tools in the fight against crime e.g. during fingerprint capture. However, despite recent advances in machine vision technology and image processing techniques (and contrary to the claims of popular fiction) forensic image retrieval is still widely being performed using outdated practices involving inkpads and paper. Ongoing changes in government policy, increasing crime rates and the reduction of forensic service budgets increasingly require that evidence be gathered and processed more rapidly and efficiently. A consequence of this is that new, low-cost imaging technologies are required to simultaneously increase the quality and throughput of the processing of evidence. This is particularly true in the burgeoning field of forensic footwear analysis, where images of shoe prints are being used to link individuals to crime scenes. Here we describe one such approach based upon frustrated total internal reflection imaging that can be used to acquire images of regions where shoes contact rigid surfaces.


Needham, J., & Sharp, J. S. (2016). Watch your step!: a frustrated total internal reflection approach to forensic footwear imaging. Scientific Reports, 6, Article 21290.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 21, 2016
Publication Date Feb 16, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 30, 2016
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Article Number 21290
Public URL
Publisher URL


NeedhamSharpSciRep2016.pdf (1.5 Mb)

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