The section carries out forensic handwriting analysis in order to determine the authorship of pieces of handwriting and signatures. The writers of anonymous messages or drug dealing lists can be determined from forensic handwriting analysis and it is often necessary to prove or disprove handwriting and signatures in fraud cases such as those involving wills, mortgages, credit agreements and business contracts.
Documents are further investigated using instrumental techniques such as ESDA (ElectroStatic Detection Apparatus ), which reveals indented writing, and specialised lighting instruments which can detect anomalies on fraudulently altered documents. Coins, bank notes, passports, driving licences and other high security documents are examined to determine whether or not they are counterfeit. The section further carries out a range of other miscellaneous forensic examinations of handwritten and printed documents.
The experts within the section are also specialists in the identification and comparison of plastic bags and cling films which can be used to package items ranging from illegal drugs to dead bodies.