Fingerprint Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - Credit MoD

Prints on items exposed to high temperatures, including fired ammunition and IED components, can now be identified.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin is set to unveil the new technology which recovers fingerprints from surfaces that were previously impossible to work with.

The technology uses a chemical to recover the fingerprints, making them visible to forensic scientists. 

Fingerprint Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - Credit MoD
Picture Credit: Ministry of Defence

The technology was developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and Loughborough University.

It will be refined and made commercially available next year, the Ministry of Defence said.

Ms Baldwin said: "British innovation is progressing at a rapid pace and we are investing millions in it to keep our country safe.

"Whether it's used on a foreign battlefield or a British crime scene, this pioneering fingerprint technology will make it much harder for criminals to escape justice."

Steve Thorngate, from the defence security analysis division of Dstl, said: "Through our work with Dr Paul Kelly at Loughborough University, the ability to significantly increase fingerprint recovery rates from items recovered, means that criminals will find it much harder to conceal their identity.

"Although the technology needs further refinement, it will be of significant benefit to forensic scientists across the world".