Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of Forensic Science in Policing

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_462



The nascent development of institutional forensic science as we know it today, in the late nineteenth century, was a crucial component in the larger process of the professionalization of policing. In the twentieth century, forensic science transitioned from a location outside of police agencies, primarily in universities, and an auxiliary role assisting police investigators toward greater integration with, and in some cases even location in, police agencies. The location of forensic science in police agencies brought many benefits in terms of coordination and control of the crime scene and potentially in the development of “intelligence-led policing” but also brought costs in terms of their perceived impartiality and its links to “mainstream” scientific institutions. The capabilities of forensic science have developed enormously over the course of the twentieth century, but research suggests that it continues to be underused by police.



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Law & SocietyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA