Forensic Science FAQs
How should exhibits be packed?
Exhibits must be packed in clean containers or packaging. Items to be compared must be packed separately to avoid cross-contamination. Proper packaging and sealing helps preserve the integrity of the evidence: preventing loss of material, entry of extraneous materials (contamination), damage or deleterious alteration of the evidence.
Each exhibit should be labeled with a unique identification marking to avoid mix-ups. Suitable packaging materials include plastic bags, paper bindles or paper bags, plastic or glass containers or bottles, paperboard cartons and unlined metal tins. Suitable sealing modes include heat-sealing of plastic bags, screw-cap, taping, closure of tins using fitting lids, etc.
Lab staff may reject exhibits that are not appropriately packed and labeled. For further advice, please contact Forensic Chemistry & Physics Lab staff.
How are exhibits submitted to the Forensic Chemistry & Physics Laboratory?
Clients who are not familiar with Forensic Chemistry & Physics work scope and procedures should contact one of our scientists to discuss the nature, feasibility, approximate cost and expected completion date of the examination. On occasion, it will be necessary to bring the exhibit(s) to the Lab for a quick assessment of the required work.
Lab staff reserves the right not to refuse services/decline examination work to anyone at any time without giving any reasons whatsoever.
On agreement, the submitter brings the exhibit(s) to the Forensic Chemistry & Physics Laboratory located at Level 3 of HSA Building. Appropriate documentation of transfer and registration of the exhibit(s) will then be carried out.
What are the charges?
Charges depend on the extent, complexity and urgency of the examinations. On discussion of the examination request, the scientist will be able to provide an estimate of the price range for a specific scope of work agreed upon.
Commercial entities and private individuals are required to pay a deposit, which is 50% of the estimated total fee before the exhibits are accepted. On completion of the examination, this deposit will be deducted from the final total fee. If further work incurring additional costs beyond the original quote is required, the scientist will confer with the client and will continue only if authorised.
During registration of the exhibits, the submitter will provide details (company name, address, contact numbers) of the client for invoicing. A unique reference Lab Number and acknowledgement slip will be generated for retention by the submitter.
Any subsequent queries regarding the status of the examination are to be addressed to the scientist in charge.
What will be included in the reports?
The report includes the name of submitter, the date and time of submission, the number of exhibits and their markings, brief descriptions of the exhibits, laboratory findings and results, any further the significance of the results where relevant, and the name and signature of the reporting scientist.
Reports for private companies are not to be used for advertising purposes.
How can I pay?
You can pay by the following methods:
- Credit Card
- Cheque (payable to "Health Sciences Authority")
How do I collect the exhibits and report?
On completion of the report, the scientist will notify the client that the report and exhibits are ready for collection. An invoice stating the total fee and balance with GST will be generated and dispatched to the client. The exhibits and report will be released to the client only on payment of the balance. Findings will not be relayed through telephone. During collection of the exhibits and report, the client may seek clarification of the findings with the scientist.
Who should I contact if I have a query for new cases and cases that have been submitted for examination?
Dr Alaric Koh Chin Wai
(Deputy Laboratory Director, Forensic Chemistry & Physics Laboratory)
Tel: 6213 0796
Do I need to submit original documents for examination?
Yes, we require the original documents as handwriting characteristics such as pen pressure and stroke fluency cannot be determined on photocopies, and these features are essential for a fruitful comparison to be made.
Do I need to submit handwriting/signature specimens?
Yes, handwriting/signature examination is a side-by-side comparison of the questioned handwriting/signature against a set of known (specimen) handwriting/signatures