Beyond the Source

In criminal cases, the reconstruction of a crime plays an important role. How and when did something happen? And who were involved? Within the framework of the Beyond the Source investigation programme, the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) is working on methods and techniques that help to answer questions of what happened at the crime scene.

Forensic reports that do not merely include information about the source (donor) of evidence, but also about what possibly happened at the crime scene, have more added value to our clients, such as the police and the Public Prosecution Service. As a result, more efficient investigations and better reconstructions of the crime may be achieved.

Forensic laboratories, including the NFI, still mainly use methods which generate and interpret evidence at ‘source level’: does the evidence at the crime scene originate from a specific suspect or from a specific object (weapon, vehicle, etc.)? This does not provide information about how the evidence originated. This requires investigation and interpretation at ‘activity level’.

The methods and techniques developed by the NFI within the framework of the 'Beyond the Source programme; the next level in crime reconstruction' helps with the reconstruction of a crime. They contribute to answering the questions of where, when, and how something happened, and may therefore be an important addition to the statements on who or what the source of an item of evidence is.