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Gait Analysis in Forensic Medicine

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Abstract: 

Recordings from video surveillance systems are used as evidence from crime scenes. It would be useful to perform comparisons between disguised perpetrators and suspects based on their gait. We applied functional anatomical and biomechanical knowledge to analyze the gait of perpetrators, as recorded on surveillance video. Using a structured checklist, which addresses the single body segments during gait, we were able to give a statement concerning the gait patterns. Characteristic parameters were, e.g., varus instability in the knee at heel strike, and larger lateral flexion of the spinal column to one side than the other. Based on these characteristic features, we are able to state with reasonable certainty whether the suspect could be the perpetrator, but it is not possible to identify the perpetrator positively. Nevertheless, we have been involved in several cases where the court has found that this type of gait analysis was a valuable tool.
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Keywords: biometry; forensic science; gait; posture; recognition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Section of Forensic Pathology, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark. 2: Department of Neuro Science and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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