An investigation into the dynamics of lip-prints as a means of identification

Anika Ludwig, Helen Page

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    Abstract

    Individualisation and identification by analysing the lines and furrows contained within lip patterns has been broadly discussed in the literature; however, due to a lack of research the reliability of this technique as evidence is questioned. Research was undertaken to test the classification system of lip print patterns and features that had previously been established, and it aimed to determine a method for cataloguing lip prints to include lip pattern typing and the comparison of pattern imperfections. Two sets of lip prints (eight impressions in total) were collected from 36 volunteers (25 females, 11 males). Volunteers were recruited at Teesside University and the University of Edinburgh. The ages of volunteers ranged from 21–60 years. The research found that lip patterns could be divided into five types, each type increasing in furrow complexity. Characteristic details from the lip prints were annotated based on the classification terminology used in fingerprint analysis (e.g. bifurcation) as well as classification systems used by other researchers previously. Lip print impressions were compared with known and unknown individuals as well as photographs, and the results demonstrated that it was possible to establish whether an impression could be linked to the source.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-181
    JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
    Volume44
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012

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