This study investigated the evidential value of specific methods of analysis for packaging tapes and clear adhesive tapes available in Australia. Fifty-eight adhesive tapes were analyzed using a wide range of optical, physical, and chemical techniques. The results were collated for the purpose of creating an Australian database of adhesive tapes, which would be of assistance in criminal investigation. Each technique was evaluated for its discriminating power, both for comparative purposes and for the identification of adhesive tapes by comparing unknown samples with the database. The combined discriminating power of the techniques applied is very high. It is possible to individually identify the source of an unknown adhesive tape sample in many instances by searching the database. It is also possible to form an opinion on the significance of a failure-to-discriminate result in comparative casework. Further work is still needed to expand and update the database, as well as compiling data on the relative market share of various products.
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