Student Creates Weapons Database to Crackdown on Stabbings

By Martyn Hordern,

A Staffordshire University student has created a new database to identify weapons used in stabbings. BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation student Lauren Yare led the study into textile stab damage for her final year project. She tested weapons seized by Staffordshire Police along with household knives to build a database of characteristics to effectively identify knife types.

Lauren, 21 from Connah’s Quay in North Wales, explained: “I tested the weapons on four types of fabric and the damage produced different characteristics, such as fraying and curling. Blind testing was conducted to show the effectiveness of the database and overall it produced a 69% success rate.

“The police could use a database like this to help identify weapons used in stabbing crimes and potentially save valuable time in their investigations.”

Lauren is also completing a virtual six week placement with Staffordshire Police as part of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership. She is working with the National Ballistics Intelligence Service to look at improvements when recovering evidence from gun crimes.

She will present findings from both projects in virtual presentations to Staffordshire Police this summer before returning to complete an MSc Forensic Science.

Lauren said: “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the police on a project like this. Everyone has been so welcoming and it is a great experience for the future.”