Services provided by FOR

The services of the Zurich Forensic Science Institute are available to all federal and cantonal criminal investigation authorities (police, public prosecutors) and courts, as well as to the Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB). In addition, a variety of central-office tasks are performed for national and international partner organizations.

Search and recovery

The crime scene or incident site is often the most important and only source for finding and recovering traces and evidence.

The Zurich Forensic Science Institute deploys around the clock to recover evidence. Whether in houses or factory buildings, on the open road or in tunnels, in the mountains or on the water: thanks to professional equipment and personnel trained in a wide variety of specialisations, we are able to begin with forensic investigations at the all-important outset.

In addition to expert training, other important factors that lead to finding the (right) physical or trace evidence include experience, imagination, creativity, and the ability to put pieces together.

Any physical or trace evidence will be secured following photographic documentation of the scene, which may include the use of video cameras or scanners. In order for such evidence to be and remain analysable, it must be appropriately labelled, expertly secured, and carefully packed and transported.

Analysis and interpretation

The significance of material and trace evidence is never a given. All evidence must be evaluated and interpreted.

Various tools are available for analysis, including light and electron microscopes, advanced analytic devices, and customised software.

The employees of the Zurich Forensic Science Institute are familiar with forensic processes. Despite specialised expertise, they approach assessments holistically. The investigations are conducted in a neutral, transparent, and attention-oriented manner.

The results and findings from searches, recovery of evidence, and analyses are documented in a report or certified expert opinion, depending on the case. The latter also includes descriptions of the applied methods as well as detailed explanations of the basis for the evaluation of the results.

Education and training

The Zurich Forensic Science Institute organizes training and continuing education events and is represented by presenters in a variety of educational settings.