Personal Identification thesis


Personal identification is the process of establishing the identity of any individualwhether living or dead. In living, identification is important in cases of amnesia,unconscious, imposters, issue of identity cards, passports, driving license, legaldocuments and many more. Identification in living is done by the law enforcementagencies to identify perpetrators of crime through trace evidence such as bloodstains,hair, foot/shoe print, fingerprint, bite marks etc. In few cases by knowing the functionsuch as speech, handwriting, gait, voice etc recognition of living can be done.

In casesof natural mass disasters like earthquakes, cyclone, floods, tsunamis etc., or man-madelike aircraft disaster, bomb blast, terrorist attacks, murders, victims of war crime etcwhere the unidentified body or bodies (either dismembered or decomposed or intactbody) are in question, the need to identify the identity of an individual is essential forsocial as well as medico-legal purpose.

The prime duty in personal identification is to ascertain whether the remainsbelong to human or not. If the answer is affirmative of being human, further techniquesare employed to identity the unidentified body.

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Personal identification is a field wherevarious branches of science like pathology, genetics, biology, anthropology, physics,odontology unite together to derive objective source of identification. The process ofidentification begins with collection of ante mortem data i.e. any information ordocument collected, age, hair color, sex, tattoos, recent photographs etc that wouldassist in identification.

The objective of personal identification is to link an unknown body to a known identity. Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. That is theessential explanation for their having supplanted other methods of establishing theidentities of criminals reluctant to admit previous arrests.

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Other personal characteristicschange – fingerprints do not. In earlier civilizations, branding and even maiming wereused to mark the criminal for what he was. The thief was deprived of the hand whichcommitted the thievery.

The Romans employed the tattoo needle to identify and prevent desertion of mercenary soldiers. More recently, law enforcement officers with extraordinary visual memories, so-called “camera eyes,” identified old offenders by sight. Photography lessened theburden on memory but was not the answer to the criminal identification problem.

Personal appearances change.

Around 1870 a French anthropologist devised a system to measure and recordthe dimensions of certain bony parts of the body. These measurements were reduced toa formula which, theoretically, would apply only to one person and would not change during his/her adult life.

This Bertillon System, named after its inventor, Alphonse Bertillon, was generallyaccepted for thirty years. But it never recovered from the events of 1903, when a mannamed Will West was sentenced to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. Yousee, there was already a prisoner at the penitentiary at the time, whose Bertillonmeasurements were nearly exact, and his name was William West. Upon aninvestigation, there were indeed two men. They looked exactly alike, but were allegedlynot related. Their names were Will and William West respectively. Their Bertillonmeasurements were close enough to identify them as the same person. However,afingerprint comparison quickly and correctly identified them as two different people.

The West men were apparently identical twin brothers per indications in later discoveredprison records citing correspondence from the same immediate family relatives.(FFS, E.D. 2016)Poroscopy, a little studied aspect of personal identification has been undertakenin the present work. Rolled and plain finger prints of one hundred individuals along withtheir palm prints were obtained to study shape, size, position, inter-spacing and numberper unit area of pores etc.

These findings were compared with the findings obtainedfrom the latent prints of same number of individuals to see the practical feasibility of theporoscopy in personal identification. It is found that though the study of pores due totheir microscopic nature is somewhat difficult as compared to the study of ridgecharacteristics, but the results achieved in the present study indicate that identificationwith the help of poroscopy is as reliable and accurate as ridge characteristics and canbe compared with the results obtained through the study of ridge characteristics. (Jasuja, B.B. 2000).

Chapter II

Design and Methodology

This study has been used for the qualitative type of research. Everything that was indicated in this study was gathered through documentation and interviews. Furthermore, the topic is about the capabilities of personnel at the PNP PRO-COR and PNP Crime Laboratory on the methods, concept and protocols of Personal Identification. To further support the study conduct several interview which only the personnel can answer every question.

Population and Locale of the Study

The parameter of the study would be the capabilities of the personnel of the PNP PRO-COR on the methods of personal identification. Some personnel of the PNP PRO-COR and PNP Crime Laboratory will be the respondents of the interview.

Data Gathering Tool

Video cameras and recorder to be utilized when there are interview to be conducted and /or documentations. Its face validity was evaluated by Dr. Gerardo K. Tumbaga, Sr., instructor of Personal Identification in the University of Baguio. Its construct validity was conducted through situational analysis.

The researcher conduct interview to the 3 personnel distributed the questionnaires and answered by 20 respondents which is a non HUMSS students in the University of Baguio food court and UB square. The tool has a reliability of .755 using Cronbach’s alpha and done by Mrs. Benilda APELYIDO NI MAAM, Adviser of the researchers in the research subject.

Data Gathering procedure

For the purposes of this research, in depth interviews were used. In depth interviewsare personal and unstructured interviews, whose aim is to identify participants capabilities regarding a particular research subject. The main advantage of personalinterviews is that they involve personal and direct contact between interviewers andinterviewees, as well as eliminate non-response rates, but interviewers need to havedeveloped the necessary skills to successfully carry an interview (Fisher, 2005, Wilson,2003).

What is more, unstructured interviews offer flexibility in terms of the flow of theinterview, thereby leaving room for the generation of conclusions that were not initiallymeant to be derived regarding a research subject. However, there is the risk that theinterview may deviate from the pre-specified research aims and objectives (Gill &Johnson, 2002). As far as data collection tools were concerned, the conduction of theresearch involved the use of semi-structured questionnaire, which was used as aninterview guide for the researcher. Some certain questions were prepared, soas for the researcher to guide the interview towards the satisfaction of researchobjectives, but additional questions were made encountered during the interviews.

Treatment of Data

Ethical consideration

The following ethical considerations that the researchers will be used will be for the research purpose only and rest assured that the gathered data will be kept confidential. Voluntarily participation of respondent in the research is important. Moreover, participants have rights to withdraw from the study at any stage if wish to do so. Respondents should participate in the basis of informed consent. The principle of informed consent involves researchers providing sufficient information and assurance about taking part to allow individuals to understand the implications of participation and to reach a fully informed, considered and freely given decision about whatever or not do so without the exercise of any pressure or coercion. The use of offensive discriminatory or other unacceptable language needs to be avoided in the formulation of questionnaire. Privacy and anonymity or respondent is a paramount importance. Maintenance of the highest level of objectivity is discussion and analysis throughout the research.

Chapter III

Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of DataDifferent methods and their concepts on personal identification applied in Law Enforcement in PRO-CORDifferent methods of Personal Identification that is availed by Police investigators from the PNP Crime Laboratory of PRO-CordilleraSignificance of these methods of personal identification in criminal/administrative investigation of casesThe best practices/protocols observed by PRO-COR Law Enforcers/Police Investigators and the PNP Crime Laboratory, PRO-COR in terms of evidence admissibility according to the Rules of CourtProposed Programs advocated to develop more precise roles of these methods of personal identification in the field of Law Enforcement


  • Bindra, B, Jasuja, OP and Singla AK. Poroscopy: A method of personal identification revisited. Anil Aggrawal’s Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, 2000 Vol. 1,
  • No. 1 (Jan-Jun 2000): Published: May 16, 2000, (Accessed: April 08, 2016)
  • (PDF) Poroscopy: A method of personal identification revisited. Available from: [accessed Dec 16 2018].
  • FFS, Ed German CLPE. The History of Fingerprints. The History of Fingerprints. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.

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Personal Identification thesis. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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