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A New Tool to Fight Crime: Illicit Drug Profiling in Forensic Intelligence

Funding: 2016: $115,000
2017: $120,000

Project Member(s): Roux, C.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Projects)
Australian Federal Police
University of Lausanne
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
NSW Health Pathology

Start year: 2016

Summary: The fight against the illicit drug trade suffers from two major limitations: (1) a relatively ineffective use of forensic science that is predominantly applied as a reactive tool for court purposes after the commission of a crime; and (2) a general under-utilisation of available information by Australian forensic drug laboratories whose scientific results contribute minimally to active operations.This project will address these issues through the development of an optimised methodology that utilises illicit drug profiling for operational intelligence purposes. Moving away from traditional reactive practices through the systematic integration of forensic case data will deliver transformational outcomes for law enforcement. IMPACT STATEMENT The project will deliver a novel methodology for the routine use of illicit drug profiling for operational intelligence purposes. This will assist law enforcement to be more effective in the fight against organised crime and will impact on the three pillars of the Australian National Drug Strategy (supply, demand and harm reduction). This will inspire a paradigm shift whereby forensic science is primarily used pro-actively in an intelligence perspective rather than reactively for courts.


Crispino, F, Roux, C, Delémont, O & Ribaux, O 2019, 'Is the (traditional) Galilean science paradigm well suited to forensic science?', WIREs Forensic Science, vol. 1, no. 6.
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Popovic, A, Morelato, M, Roux, C & Beavis, A 2019, 'Review of the most common chemometric techniques in illicit drug profiling', Forensic Science International, vol. 302, pp. 109911-109911.
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Morelato, M, Broséus, J, De Grazia, A, Tahtouh, M, Esseiva, P & Roux, C 2018, 'Forensic drug intelligence and the rise of cryptomarkets. Part II: Combination of data from the physical and virtual markets', Forensic Science International, vol. 288, pp. 201-210.
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Broséus, J, Morelato, M, Tahtouh, M & Roux, C 2017, 'Forensic drug intelligence and the rise of cryptomarkets. Part I: Studying the Australian virtual market', Forensic Science International, vol. 279, pp. 288-301.
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Morelato, M, Broseus, J, Rhumorbarbe, D, Staehli, L, Roux, C & Rossy, Q 1970, 'A GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF TRAFFICKING ON EVOLUTION, A POPULAR DARKNET MARKETPLACE', FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, 21st Triennial Meeting of the International-Association-of-Forensic-Sciences (IAFS), ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD, Toronto, CANADA, pp. 246-246.

FOR Codes: Forensic Chemistry, Criminology not elsewhere classified, Law Enforcement, Criminology not elsewhere classified