Gait analysis is the systematic study of human walking, using the eye and brain of experienced observers, augmented by instrumentation for measuring body movements, body mechanics, and the activity of the muscles. Since Aristotle’s work on gait analysis more than 2000 years ago, it has become an established clinical science used extensively in the healthcare and rehabilitation fields for diagnosis and treatment.
Forensic Gait Analysis details the more recent, and rapidly developing, use of gait analysis in the forensic sciences. The book considers the use of observational gait analysis, based on video recordings, to assist in the process of identification or exclusion. With the increase in use of CCTV and surveillance systems over the last 20 to 30 years, there has been a steady and rapid increase in the use of gait as evidence. Currently, gait analysis is widely used in the UK in criminal investigations, with increasing awareness of its potential use in the US, Europe, and globally.
The book details the history of the science, current practices, and of the emergent application to establish best-practice standards that conform to those of other forensic science disciplines. Engagement with the Forensic Science Regulator, and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences in the UK, and the International Association for Identification has helped to ensure and enhance the quality assurance of forensic gait analysis. However, there remains a fundamental lack of standardized training and methodology for use in evidentiary and investigative casework. This book fills that void, serving as one of the first to describe the current state of practice, capabilities and limitations, and to outline methods, standards of practice and expectations of the gait analyst as a forensic practitioner.
Forensic Gait Analysis reflects current research and forensic practice and will serve as a state-of-the-art guide to the use of gait analysis in the forensic context—for both education and training purposes. It will be a welcome addition to the libraries of professionals in the areas of podiatry, gait analysis, forensic video analysis, law enforcement, and legal practice.
Foreword: Anya Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
Preface: Ivan Birch
Chapter 1: Introduction
Ivan Birch and Wesley Vernon
Chapter 2: The history of the use of gait analysis as evidence
Chapter 3: Fundamentals of human gait and gait analysis
Ambreen Chohan, Jim Richards and David Levine
Chapter 4: The legal context of forensic gait analysis
Part 1: The legal context in North America
Part 2: The legal context in the United Kingdom
Chapter 5: The development of the forensic gait analysis quality assurance process in the UK
Chapter 6: Initial contact, preliminary assessment of footage and defining the task
Chapter 7: Analysing the questioned and reference footage
Chapter 8: Comparison of gait and evaluation
Chapter 9: Writing expert witness reports
Part 1: General principles, requirements and pitfalls
Roger Robson and Claire Gwinnett
Part 2: Writing forensic gait analysis reports
Chapter 10: Presenting gait evidence in court
Chapter 11: Psychology of perceptual error in forensic practice
Chapter 12: Probative value of gait analysis
Graham Jackson and Ivan Birch
Chapter 13: Case study 1 - Berry’s One Stop Store robbery
Case study 2 - arson of a business premises
Case study 3 - two armed bank robberies
Appendix 1 Sheffield features of gait tool
"With forensic gait analysis being a relatively new forensic science ... there has not yet been set to print a book so complete in its efforts to convey the whole process of Forensic Gait Analysis as Forensic Gait Analysis: Principles and Practice. This book finds the perfect balance in its explanation of what forensic gait analysis is and how it applies to the real world investigation, from the beginning of a criminal investigation right up to the court room and beyond. Overall, this book is well researched, written, and presented ... all would benefit from the information in these pages ... the best written book on forensic gait analysis I have read."
—Nicholas J. Harris, CSFS, Detective Constable, Peel Regional Police Service, Canada; Crime Scene Investigator with the Forensic Identification Bureau; Forensic Podiatrist, BSc Hons Podiatric Medicine. Review published in Interfaces, a publication of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, Issue No. 101, September 2020.