Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56

Awareness of forensic odontology among police personnel: A new ray of hope in forensic odontology


Department of Oral Pathology, AJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sowmya Venkatesh
Department of Oral Pathology, AJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Kuntikana, Mangalore - 575 004, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.176949

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Background: Police personnel play an important role in collecting and producing evidence. Knowledge about the various aspects of forensic as well as dental sciences and related evidence in them provide a golden opportunity to forensic odontologists to actively participate in the identification of the accused or victim. They can also act as an expert witness in court to produce forensic dental evidence. Aim: To evaluate the awareness and knowledge about the utilization of forensic odontology during evidence collection by the crime scene investigation (CSI) officers. Materials and Methods: Four hundred police officers were included in this survey. A questionnaire was designed to assess the awareness and knowledge about forensic odontology and application of the known knowledge in identifying and considering the dental evidences. Data were analyzed using the software Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Chicago, Il, USA) version 17.0 by comparing the overall awareness of forensic odontology among the trained SI officers and trainee police personnel. Results: The collected results showed that there is a requirement for changes in the current practice of evidence collection and highlighted the need for better communication between the police personnel and forensic odontologists. A significantly higher number of police officers in both the trained and trainee groups reported knowledge about the subject (P < 0.001) through newspapers and mass media as the sources of knowledge. Conclusion: Even though the respondents have knowledge about forensic odontology, there is a lack of communication and facilities in their system; hence, steps must be taken to educate the police personnel about the application of forensic odontology.


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