Colin Priddis, Director Forensic Science at ChemCentre, is Deputy Chair of SMANZFL and has been involved in the group since the early 2000s.
“SMANZFL provides a way of providing coordinated strategic leadership to drive the science and develop a consistent approach to different areas of forensic science across the country,” Colin said.
The meeting heard from the nine special advisory groups (SAGs) and the quality management forum, all of whom work throughout the year to develop and standardise technical systems, training, quality, policies and share findings on the latest forensic research developments.
While new psychoactive substances continue to be of great importance to the Toxicology and Drugs SAGs, last year brought rapid advances in the fields of DNA analysis and 3D laser scanning, particularly with crime scene management, evidence collection, interpretation and conversion to forensic intelligence.
“Developments like these have the potential to allow forensic scientists to sequence DNA faster, and recover far greater information about physical traits. Laser scanning for documenting and interpreting crime scenes is having a dramatic impact on how crime scenes are managed and ultimately presented to the courts. The practitioners are clearly excited about these advances and the opportunity to provide investigators with better quality information to make decisions around criminal investigations,” Colin explained.
ChemCentre staff chaired three of the special advisory groups, in toxicology, illicit drugs and chemical criminalistics.
“It really shows how ChemCentre is at the forefront of forensic chemistry and toxicology, and provides great professional development opportunities for our staff,” Colin said.
You can read more about our work in this area on the ChemCentre Forensic Science webpage.