• forensic science;
  • DNA;
  • fingerprints;
  • deprivation;
  • crime scene;
  • criminalistics;
  • socioeconomic status

Abstract:  Previous research has shown that as crime scene location deprivation increases (lower socioeconomic status), the recovery of forensic material, principally DNA and fingerprints, also increases. However, this increase does not result in more crimes being solved by forensic means. In this study, we analyze stolen vehicle data and find a statistically significant positive association between deprivation and the amount of forensic material that matched either the victim or an associate of the victim on a criminal database. The nature of this association was investigated further by inspecting recovered stolen vehicles to establish whether the condition of a stolen vehicle and the tidiness of its interior influenced the recovery of forensic material that was attributed to the victim or an associate. Contradictory results suggest that other factors may contribute to understanding the association between the recovery of victim- or associate-attributable forensic material and crime scene location deprivation.