Michael Barber - Blood Marks Expert

Mike Barber – Blood Marks Expert

Michael is a highly experienced specialist in the development of fingerprints and footwear marks, particularly those composed of blood, both in the laboratory and at scenes of crime.

Michael joined the London Laboratory of the Forensic Science Service (formerly the Metropolitan Police Laboratory) in 1994 as a Senior Research Fellow, where he examined sequence variation within Short Tandem Repeat alleles at loci employed within multiplex DNA profiling systems.  He also contributed to the development and implementation of DNA anti-contamination standard operating procedures and quality management systems for the FSS.

Following the merger of the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory with the Forensic Science Service, he joined the Specialist, Location and Recovery Unit  in 1996.  His role was to locate and enhance all fingerprint and footwear marks using all optical, physical and chemical methods available.  As a specialist in blood marks Michaels role was to provide interpretive (method of formation) and factual evidence on fingerprint and footwear marks both on exhibits submitted to the laboratory and at scenes of crime.  On many occasions he was able to assist investigating offers with the sequence of events in terms of mark formation.  These examinations were all integrated into a complete DNA recovery strategy built on an understanding of the effects of chemical treatments on subsequent PCR based DNA profiling methods.  This was based on research he and his colleagues carried out in the FSS and also through joint research carried out with the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (now CAST).  Michael was registered as an expert in Mark Development and Interpretation with the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (now disbanded) and is a member of a number of other professional bodies.

He was part of a team which provided a 24/7 national and international response for law enforcement agencies including the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.  Consequently Michael is security cleared to SC level.  As well as carrying out examinations, he provided senior investigating officers with advice on prioritising scene and exhibit examination and the need for scientists of other disciplines to attend.  He has examined over 500 murder and terrorist scenes of crime both in the UK and abroad, as well as many more cases submitted to the Forensic Science Service for examination in the laboratory.

Michael has given evidence in Magistrates Court, Coroners Court and Crown Court on numerous occasions since 1998. He has lectured at international conferences including the ENFSI research and development group.  He has developed and delivered training programs to a wide range of professionals including Police Service Northern Ireland, the Criminal Case Review Commission and many other police forces in England and Wales.  He has provided awareness training for Crime Scene Investigators / Managers / Coordinators and Senior Investigating Officers and acted as a facilitator on the Crime Scene Managers course at CENTREX in Durham.  For further details visit http://www.slrforensics.co.uk

Michael Barber can be contacted at:

michaelbarber@principalforensicservices.com