A forensic expert talked about the video of child abuse that aroused her interest in using hands as a tool for identification.
Professor Dame Sue Black, 58, said a 2006 case of a girl filming her father's abuse led to her research into distinctive hand and wrist markings to identify perpetrators, especially pedophiles.
Professor Black has since used hand analysis to identify a number of pedophiles, including Neil Strachan in Edinburgh, who was identified due to a distinctive congenital defect in the & # 39; half-moon & # 39; at the foot of his thumb.
She now leads a team of scientists who compile a database for hand identification that is hoped to be useful in future criminal cases.
Professor Dame Sue Black, 58, explained how a 2006 case of a girl filming her father's abuse led to her research into distinctive hand and wrist markings to identify perpetrators, especially pedophiles. Stock image
Speaking with BBC Radio 4 program Seriously: the hand detectives, That was broadcast yesterday, Professor Black remembered how her interest in hands began after learning the case of the young girl, from London, in 2006.
The unnamed girl went to the police and accused her father of sexual abuse.
& # 39; A very incredibly brave young girl, with a look ahead, turned on the camera on her computer, & # 39; Professor Black continued.
& # 39; If you use your computer camera & # 39; when switched on at night, it is set to infrared mode. The infrared mode works together with the oxygen-poor blood that we have in our veins, so that your veins stand out like black tram lines.
& # 39; At 4.30 am we saw a hand come in and do exactly what she said happened to her. But of course we could see a beautiful vein pattern. & # 39;
Professor Black believed that the distinctive character of the forearm veins could play a role in identifying the offender.
Professor Black, pictured, along with teams at Dundee and Lancaster University, are working on a hand-held library that can be used in conjunction with artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately assess hands and link child abuse worldwide
She explained: & # 39; If you go to the part of the limb that is under the elbow, the veins are so variable that we don't even call them … The variation in one hand is different from the other, it's different in identical Gemini. & # 39;
The professor suggested that the police compare the infrared patterns of the perpetrator with those of the father.
& # 39; If they don't match, it can't be him, & # 39; she said to the police. & # 39; If they match, I don't know what that means. I can't tell you it's likely they are the same person. & # 39; The two vein patterns corresponded.
Professor Black presented the evidence in court, but the jury still failed to convict the father because his daughter had not cried & # 39 ;.
A combination of vein patterns, skin folds, scars, tattoos and pigmentation are used as important biometric data used to identify an individual. These techniques have previously been successfully used in a court of law to identify child abusers from pictures of their hands (photo)
She added: & # 39; At that time I said "that is unacceptable". & # 39;
Professor Black, together with teams at Dundee and Lancaster University, are now working on a hand-held library that can be used in conjunction with artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately assess hands and link cases of child abuse around the world.
She explained: & # 39; In the images that we view during the sexual abuse of children, we often do not see the whole hand, we only see pieces of it.
& # 39; So we'll look at the skin color, we'll look at the overall pattern, but we'll look at it, literally from the tip of the fingers to the bottom of the wrist. What can I see there? & # 39;
The project combines & # 39; hard biometrics & # 39 ;, such as fingerprints with & # 39; soft biometrics & # 39; to obtain a complete assessment of the person's true identity.
This can not only protect children, but also the researchers who endanger their own mental health while working to protect the most vulnerable.
The technology is a first of its kind and has never been tried before, but anatomists, anthropologists, geneticists, bioinformatics, image analysts and computer scientists work together to create the system.
The researchers claim that it offers the opportunity to develop a variety of new biometric options.
It could potentially be used for security access, border control and assistance in investigating serious and organized crime at the global level.
Researchers are looking for thousands of volunteers to support their project by sending pictures of their hands. For more information about the research click here and to contact the team and show interest in participating here.
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