Ear prints to solve crimes

Federal police investigators are using more scientific methods and techniques to solve crimes. That's according to a report by the federal police. At the same time, the judicial authorities are taking more into account to the evidence collected in this way.

The police units responsible for scientific and technical research are increasingly called to the scene of the crime. In 2007, they had to make 52,989 interventions, last year this number had risen to 64,176. This 21 percent increase means 180 interventions per day on average. Local police teams are also requesting more help from the federal research teams than in the past.

Mostly they look for DNA or other traces after a burglary, like finger prints, shoe prints or even ear prints. "It happens that a burglar puts his ear against the door to hear whether the coast is clear before breaking in", says Paul Van Thielen of the federal police. "We can retrieve these traces which give us an extra clue to solve the crime. We can use the data to trace the perpetrators."

The investigations should help judges to make evidence-based decisions.