64 years ago, Russian law enforcement agencies were completed with forensics divisions developed to provide technical and forensic support to detection and investigation of crimes. Decades later, the departmental affiliation of these services changed, but the tasks of forensic specialists remained the same – practical application of scientific and technological means and scientifically based guidelines to detect and investigate grave and especially grave offences.
Forensic specialists of the Investigative Committee of Russia helped solve thousands of crimes, made hundreds of trips to flash points in the country and worldwide to provide assistance. Those are almost all probes related to serial killings, banditism, terrorism, crimes against minors, and technological and transport disasters.
Currently, the Forensics Activities of the Investigative Committee Development Concept 2025 is being implemented, complied with which is a number of measures already taken to increase the efficiency of the service. This year, Main Forensics Directorate (Forensic Centre) specialists travelled to various regions to participate in investigative actions and assist investigative authorities over 600 times. They studied 1,180 criminal cases and 421 materials of pre-investigation inspections on allegations of disappearances of citizens, cases of bodies found without external signs of death, and sex crimes, including those involving minors. They proposed to reopen the investigation in 213 criminal cases; provided recommendations on 469 criminal cases. This year, experts of the IC of Russia performed over 23,000 examinations and studies, including over 2,000 by the Main Forensics Directorate. Those were molecular and genetic, computer and engineering, information and analytical, phonoscopic, mental and physiological, and others. They provided methodological and practical assistance in 651 criminal cases, having arranged examinations and research in various expert institutions.
Due to the provision of practical assistance by investigators of the Main Forensics Directorate, over 42 grave and especially grave offences that caused a wide public response were solved in cooperation with the territorial investigating authorities of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and internal affairs agencies.
Along with traditional forms and methods of forensic support to the investigation, the development of digital forensics as a non-expert activity is ongoing in the Forensic Centre. In H1 alone, forensic investigators of the Main Forensics Directorate engaged in inspecting almost 2,000 electronic devices, which is double to the total of the entire last year. Among the inspected devices, there were computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and portable data storage devices.
As of today, the investigative demands for an analysis of billing data, Internet data, and satellite data, as well as for improved quality of video tapes etc. are met in no time, without additional examination.
A department of forensic medical research was created, which will be involved in conducting expert examinations in criminal cases requiring a legal assessment of the actions of doctors.
In order to expedite the departure of highly qualified forensic specialists to crime scenes, the structure of the Main Forensics Directorate is completed with territorial units located in the centres of the federal districts. Such units have already been operating in Yekaterinburg and Saint Petersburg. They provide for forensic support of investigations into high-profile crimes committed in 10 regions of North-Western and Ural federal districts. Also, the structure of the Main Forensics Directorate was completed with the Department on Interagency Interaction, which allows obtaining possible information from other agencies more quickly.
There is the ongoing active work on import substitution of foreign forensic equipment for the units of the IC of Russia. At the moment, the share of domestic criminal equipment used by the Department's forensic experts is about 60%, while in 2015 it was 30%. Engineering equipment adapted to investigative tasks is being actively introduced into practice - for example, nonlinear locators, metal detectors, and georadars.
Officers of the Forensics Centre face specific tasks on development of forensic support of investigations. This work directly affects the efficiency of the Directorate’s activities in its main area of work - detection and investigation of crimes.