Descripción del proyecto

It is well known that sharing information among police laboratories is important to improve their current methods and favour harmonization among laboratories. Law enforcement forces face the almost daily challenge of retaining a suspect or being forced to release her/him due to lack of evidence. Consequently, fast identification of suspicious substances or devices is capital for the criminal justice system.

This secure website proposes an international platform for Explosives data exCHANGE (ExCHANGE). Our main objective is to stimulate and favour the exchange of expertise, analytical data of explosives and their precursors, and [to encourage the] co-operation among law enforcement laboratories and qualified institutions through a secured and limited access database. With all these in mind, ExCHANGE offers several advantages:

It is a website containing a database which enables an easy and secure exchange of analytical data and information.
It collects available data for explosives and their precursors.
The data collection follows a “bartering philosophy” with associate partners.
This website and project transfer the project results by either letting the users gather the data they need, and/or through the European Network of Forensic Sciences Institutes (ENFSI) and FINEX meetings.

The initial database is being filled with already collected data for explosives and their precursors by the University of Alcalá – University Institute of Research in Forensic Sciences (UAH-IUICP),its team of Forensic Chemistry Research (INQUIFOR), and the University of Rhode Island (URI). Such data includes information gather with Mass Spectrometry (MS), Infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Liquid Chromatography coupled to MS (LC-MS), Gas Chromatography coupled to MS (GC-MS) and Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) techniques. In addition to providing concrete experimental data, ExCHANGE will also give a general overview of all such techniques useful to identify or analyse certain explosives/precursors. In addition, all information regarding the experimental conditions under which such data were obtained is included along with other useful physicochemical properties.

Although the bartering system assures great user contribution, if a user cannot provide any data, she/he will still see the open data in the website, which is meant to also provide valuable information.

The database has been planned as a well-structured, organised, strong, flexible, scalable and web- manageable relational database using a clean-coded management module for bridging the webpage and the database. This code takes care of validating, bartering, importing and converting the analytical data items uploaded by registered users. It also implements and offers well-visible in-house Really Simple Syndication (RSS) news cast for users; and, validates the database operability by associate partners.

Finally, the ExCHANGE project is in line with EU action plans (April 2008 and November 2009) focused in increasing security among European citizens. It has an important added value at European level since it has been elaborated considering the Explosives Working Group (FINEX) of ENFSI. In addition, ExCHANGE counts with the support of police laboratories from Spain, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, Denmark, and Netherlands (they have shown their interest). Furthermore, other police laboratories from Singapore and Australia have also manifested their interest for the project.

Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union (Grant Agreement No HOME/2012/ISEC/AG/CBRN/4000003800. European Project ExCHANGE).

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