RF Investigative Committee keeps on developing forensic science system

The forensic service marks its birthday on 19 October. First positions of forensic prosecutors were instituted on that day in 1954 by the order of the USSR Prosecutor’s General Office. When the Investigative Committee was set up the forensic service became part of it. At present the Investigative Committee continues actively developing the forensic science system. And this only reasonable as forensic investigators improve the quality of probe, help to solve many crimes and bring the guilty ones to justice.

Since the moment the Investigative Committee under the Prosecutor General’s Office was set up in 2007, forensic divisions have helped to solve more than 60,000 crimes committed in previous years. Namely, this year a sentence was passed over the case about the murder of a rural council’s chairman in Rostov Region committed in 1962.  At that time a man called Tsvetov was wanted on suspicion of the crime, but was never found. In 2016, report was gotten that in 1991 a man called Maslov who resembled the description of the suspect was convicted of a crime. A forensic DNA test found that Maslov and Tsvetov were one and the same man. It turned out that after he had committed the murder, the suspect changed his name, moved to other region and hid from investigators for a long time. The crime was solved thanks to thorough analysis of the data on the convicts carried out by a permanent analytical group.

Efficient use of forensic equipment often helps to solve crimes. The range of such equipment is very wide and depending on the crime’s category its use can help document physical evidence found at a crime scene. For example, mobile forensics device UFED has extracted information from mobile devices which was relevant for the investigation on 6,370 instances. Sources of forensic light have helped to find traces on 5,294 instances and 4,470 objects have been found using biological screening materials. It can be said that most of major crimes are managed to be solved thanks to forensic divisions. Namely, in 2016, more than 40,000 major crimes were solved, in 67% of them forensic investigators effectively used equipment found and seized materials that were relevant as evidence which then allowed finding perpetrators.

177 serial crimes with 1,498 counts (with crimes committed in previous years), including 11 serial killings that included 34 counts, 2 serial rape-related murders with 24 counts, 89 serial sex crimes with 687 counts and 75 other serial crimes with 753 counts have been solved this year. Namely, a series of murders of women has been solved in Novosibirsk Region. Fragments of women’s dismembered bodies were found in different districts of the region between 1998 and 2006. 19 counts of the crimes were revealed. Yevgeny Chuplinsky was detained and is now under psychiatric evaluation. A series of 6 rapes committed in 2015-2016 has been solved in Kaluga Region. Having received the data that a certain type of motorbike had been near one of the crime scenes, forensic investigators analyzed the data on owners of similar vehicles and then when they were checking the DNA of one of those owners they found the suspect’s genotype on all six crime scenes. The suspect was Oleg Krivoshapkin and the investigation against him is about to be finished.

The system of expert divisions created in the Investigative Committee is no less successful too. In addition to managing forensic activities the Investigative Committee’s Forensic Directorate has set up 7 district expert forensic offices and 4 expert offices in investigative directorates and offices in regions. Additionally the forensic offices employ experts that can run forensic economic, computer, construction, phonographic and psychophysiological inquiries using a polygraph. At present there are more than 500 experts working for the Investigative Committee. This year investigators have assigned a total of more than 174,000 inquiries and examinations involving experts from the Investigative Committee and other agencies.

At the moment the Investigative Committee is working on the Forensic Service Development Conception aimed at improving the work of forensic investigators and to enhance effectiveness of the forensic equipment used.