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Title:
PROTECTIVE COVER AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145673
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Protective cover (100), and method of using the same, for example for protecting forensic evidence (104) and/or a forensic scene (604'). The cover (100) comprises a covering member (101) for at least partially covering forensic evidence (104) and/or an entry way to a forensic scene (604'), wherein the covering member (101) is configured to be breathable (106) and waterproof (107); a fixing means (102) for affixing the cover (100) to a surface (105) in an affixed condition (100'), wherein the affixing means (102) is provided at each peripheral edge (101a-101d) of the covering member (101); and tamper indicating means (103) for indicating tampering of the cover in the affixed condition (100'), wherein the tamper indicating means (103) is provided at each peripheral edge (101a-101d) of the covering member (101).

Inventors:
DUPRE-PICKEN, Adrian Robert (Chat au Purrs, Old Hackney Lane, Matlock Derbyshire DE4 2QJ, DE4 2QJ, GB)
Application Number:
GB2019/050048
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 09, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EVISHIELD LIMITED (The Oaks, Moor Farm RoadAirfield Industrial Estate, Ashbourne Derbyshire DE6 1HD, DE6 1HD, GB)
International Classes:
B08B17/04; G01N1/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003035288A12003-05-01
Foreign References:
US20070196609A12007-08-23
EP1167230A12002-01-02
US5595230A1997-01-21
US6925896B12005-08-09
US20050268574A12005-12-08
CA2120988A11994-12-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TERRY, Martin et al. (Swindell & Pearson Ltd, 48 Friar Gate, Derby Derbyshire DE1 1GY, DE1 1GY, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

We claim:

1 . A cover for protecting forensic evidence, the cover comprising:

a covering member for at least partially covering forensic evidence, wherein the covering member is configured to be breathable and waterproof;

affixing means for affixing the cover †o a surface in an affixed condition, wherein the affixing means is provided af each peripheral edge of the covering member; and

tampering indicating means for indicating tampering of the cover in the affixed condition, wherein the tampering indicating means is provided af each peripheral edge of the covering member.

2. The cover of claim 1 , wherein the affixing means comprises the tampering indicating means.

3. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the tamper indicating means is configured †o provide an indication of one or more of:

physical tempering of the cover;

thermal tampering of the cover; and

chemical tampering of the cover.

4. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the affixing means is configured†o provide a substantially waterproof seal when in the affixed condition.

5. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the affixing means comprises adhesive means.

6. The cover of claim 5, wherein the adhesive means comprises a band of adhesive provided on one side of the cover, wherein the band of adhesive surrounds af leas† a central portion of the covering member.

7. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the covering member is opaque.

8. The cover of any one or more of previous claims 1 †o 6, wherein the covering member is transparent.

9. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the covering member is configured †o provide protection from ultraviolet radiation.

10. The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the covering member is configured as one or more of: a sheef-like member, a planar member and a flexible member.

1 1 . The cover of any one or more of the previous claims, wherein the cover is provided with a unique identifier.

12. A system for use in a crime or accident scene, the system comprising: a firs† cover as claimed in any of claims 1 to 1 1 ;

a second cover as claimed in any of claims 1 †o 1 1 , wherein the second cover is affixable†o the firs† cover by the affixing means of the firs† cover.

13. A method of protecting forensic evidence and/or forensic scene, the method comprising:

affixing a cover as claimed in any of claims 1 - 1 1 around forensic evidence and/or an enfryway†o a forensic scene.

Description:
PROTECTIVE COVER

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

Examples of the present disclosure relate to a protective cover. Some examples, though without prejudice to the foregoing, relate to a cover for protecting forensic evidence and/or a forensic scene.

BACKGROUND

Current provisions for police officers, emergency services personnel or other first responders to protect and preserve forensic evidence when they attend a forensic scene (such as a crime scene or scene of an accident/incident) that enables the protection and preservation of forensic evidence (be it visible or latent forensic evidence) let alone preserving the continuity and integrity of the evidence are sub-optimal. Evidence may be lost due to exposure to the elements (moisture, water, precipitation, wind, UV) or via accidental damage. Accordingly, detection opportunities can be missed in the time between the arrival of a first responder (e.g. the police) at a scene to when a forensic examiner from the forensic service attends the scene and completes his/her evidence gathering.

Various examples of the present disclosure seek to provide an apparatus that may enable the protection and preservation of latent and visible forensic evidence and/or a forensic scene, whilst also ensuring the integrity and authenticity of the forensic evidence. Such forensic evidence may relate to, not least for example: blood, fingerprints and other evidence giving materials.

The listing or discussion of any prior-published document or any background in this specification should not necessarily be taken as an acknowledgement that the document or background is part of the state of the art or is common general knowledge. One or more aspects/examples of the present disclosure may or may not address one or more of the background issues. BRIEF SUMMARY

According †o one or more examples of the disclosure there is provided a cover for protecting forensic evidence and/or a forensic scene, the cover comprising:

a covering member for af leas† partially covering forensic evidence, wherein the covering member is configured †o be breathable and waterproof;

affixing means for affixing the cover †o a surface in an affixed condition, wherein the affixing means is provided af each peripheral edge of the covering member; and

tampering indicating means for indicating tampering of the cover in the affixed condition, wherein the tampering indicating means is provided af each peripheral edge of the covering member.

According †o one or more examples of the disclosure there is provided a method of protecting forensic evidence and/or forensic scene comprising: affixing a cover per the above around forensic evidence and/or an enfryway†o a forensic scene.

According †o one or more examples of the disclosure there are provided examples as claimed in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of various examples of the present disclosure that are useful for understanding the detailed description and certain embodiments of the invention, reference will now be made by way of example only†o the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 schematically illustrates an example of an apparatus according†o an example of the present disclosure;

Figure 2 schematically illustrates the apparatus of Figure 1 in use; Figures 3A, 3B and 3C schematically illustrate a further example of an apparatus according†o the present disclosure;

Figures 4A †o 4D schematically illustrate an example of tamper indicating means of apparatuses according†o the present disclosure; Figure 5 schematically illustrates an example of a system according†o the present disclosure; and

Figures 6A†o 6D illustrate examples of use of apparatuses according†o the present disclosure.

The Figures are no† necessarily†o scale. Certain features and views of the figures may be shown schematically or exaggerated in scale in the interest of clarity and conciseness. For example, the dimensions of some elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative†o other elements†o aid explication. Similar reference numerals are used in the Figures †o designate similar features. For clarity, all reference numerals are no† necessarily displayed in all figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The Figures schematically illustrate a cover 100 for protecting forensic evidence 104 and/or a forensic scene 604‘, the cover 100 comprising:

a covering member 101 for a† leas† partially covering forensic evidence 104 and/or an entry way†o a forensic scene 604’, wherein the covering member 101 is configured†o be breathable 106 and waterproof 107;

a fixing means 102 for affixing the cover 100 to a surface 105 in an affixed condition 100’, wherein the affixing means 102 is provided a† each peripheral edge 1 Ol a-1 Ol d of the covering member 101 ; and

tamper indicating means 103 for indicating tampering of the cover in the affixed condition 100’, wherein the tamper indicating means 103 is provided a† each peripheral edge 1 Ol a-1 Ol d of the covering member 101 . For the purposes of illustration and no† limitation, in some examples the cover comprises a planar sheet of waterproof ye† breathable material which has a tamper evident adhesive seal surrounding its entire exterior edges. The tamper evidence adhesive seal provides both means by which †o affix the cover†o a surface as well as providing tamper indicting means which allows for immediate visual recognition if the cover, once having been affixed†o a surface, has been tampered with (for example if an attempt has been made †o remove the cover from the surface †o which is has been affixed) . The tamper indicating means help establish and validate the integrity of the evidence, i.e.†o confirm/prove†ha† it has no† been tampered with.

In certain examples, such combined affixing and tamper indicating means may comprise a layer of adhesive †ha† is configured †o leave a predetermined portion of its adhesive (e.g. a die cu† portion) on the surface †o which the cover have been affixed upon attempted removal of the cover once affixed†o the surface. The adhesive may be opaque or combined with an opaque colouring, such †ha† the portion of the adhesion let† on the surface (which has been removed from an inner/lower portion of the combined affixing and tamper indicating means) enables the removed portions†o be clearly visible on an outer/upper side of the tamper indicating means thereby indicating †ha† the cover has been tampered with, for example an attempt has been made †o remove the cover having been affixed†o the surface.

Without limiting the scope of the claims, an advantage/technical effect of some examples of the present disclosure may be †o provide a waterproof and ye† breathable protective covering†ha† can form a protective seal over and around forensic evidence, thereby protecting the evidence from exposure†o the elements, no† leas† for example rain, whilst the brea†habili†y of the cover allows any moisture within the encapsulated forensic evidence†o escape and may thereby prevent the build-up of mould and/or condensation which may otherwise degrade the forensic evidence. Furthermore, the provision of tamper indicating means helps establish and validate the integrity of the forensic evidence, i.e. so as†o establish that if has no† been tampered or interfered with whilst it has been covered and protected by the protective cover.

Figure 1 focuses on the functional components necessary for describing the operation of the cover 100.

The cover 100 comprises a covering member 101 that is configured †o be both breathable and waterproof. In this regard, the cover member may be made from one or more layers/membranes of one or more fabrics/materials which are duly configured (e.g. †rea†ed/coa†ed) so as †o provide both brea†habili†y as well as waterproofing, i.e. such †ha† the covering member provides air permeability and permits water vapour†o pass therethrough bu† does no† provide liquid permeability and preven†s/resis†s liquid water passing there through.

In various examples, the covering member is configured†o be breathable so as †o provide a moisture vapour transmission rate of one or more of: >5,000g/m 2 /day, >7,500g/m 2 /day, >10,000g/m 2 /day (using the “Upright Cup †es†” - ISO 2528: 201 7, JIS [Japanese Industry Standards] L 1099, JIS Z 0208, Desiccant Method of ASTM E96, JIS K 6328.

In various examples, the covering member is also configured †o be waterproof, so as†o have a waterproof rating of one or more of: >5, 000mm, between 6,000 to 10,000mm, or greater than 10,000mm (using the “hydro static head†es†” of withstand a pressure of X mm of water pressure (9.8 kPa) without leaking) .

The peripheral edges l Ol a-d of the covering member 101 are provided with affixing means 102 and tamper indicating means 103.

The affixing means are configured so as†o enable the cover†o be affixed†o a surface, thereby defining an affixed condition 100’. In various examples, the affixing means may comprise adhesive means for adhering the cover to a surface. The affixing means 102 are provided at each peripheral edge of the covering member surrounds and encloses a central portion 101’ of the covering member thereby defining a central portion of the covering member devoid of affixing means and also devoid of tamper indicating means, whereas the peripheral portions l Ol a-d of the covering member are provided with the affixing means 102 and tamper indicating means 103.

The affixing means may form a flange/peripheral region of the cover that surrounds/encircles the central portion of the covering member. The affixing means may enable, in use when placed over a piece of forensic evidence and affixed to a surface on which the forensic evidence is disposed, the forming of a (waterproof yet breathable) seal around the forensic evidence.

The tamper indicating means are also provided at each peripheral portion of the covering member. The tamper indicating means are configured so as to provide an indication of tampering of the cover (certain examples of which are discussed later with respect†o Figures 4A - 4D). Such an indication of tampering may be revealing a hidden message/paffern, or over† void identification †ha† cannot be replaced or reapplied so as †o highlight and enable quick and easy detection of unauthorised interfering/tampering.

In some examples, the tamper indicating means is integral with the affixing means. For example the affixing means and tamper indicating means may be provided in a tamper evident adhesive strip†ha† surrounds and encloses a central portion of the covering member, i.e. a tamper evident adhesive strip is applied around the edges of central portion of the covering member.

In some examples, the tamper indicating means comprises an adhesive layer or tape †ha†, once applied †o a surface and, upon tampering (e.g. attempted and/or actual removal from the surface), leaves a permanen†/semi-permanen† or persistent residue of adhesive or artefact (e.g. deformity†o the surface, such as tearing of fibres of a fibrous surface) on the surface†o which the tamper indicating means was applied to. Alternatively, the tamper indicating means may be configured so as to be frangible/self destructing, for example so as to split, break or fail in a particular visual or mechanical way thereby providing a clear visual indication that tampering, i.e. attempted removal of the cover once affixed/adhered to a surface, has taken place.

The indication of the tampering may be by virtue of leaving marks or a pattern on the tamper indicating means itself or on the surface to which the cover has been affixed to. The tamper indicating means may provide a voiding system in which, upon tampering, a hidden message is revealed or an overt void tampering indication is provided that cannot be replaced or reapplied, thereby providing an easy detection of tampering. Such a voiding message may be provided by a tamper evident tape provided around the edges of the covering member that reveals a voiding message (not least for example “void” or some other tamper evident message or pattern). When the tamper evident tape, having been applied to a surface, is removed, i.e. due to tampering, the tape delaminates leaving behind some or all of its adhesive and moreover revealing the tamper evident message/pattern thereby making it not possible to reuse and reapply the tape. It will be appreciated that any custom/bespoke message or tamper evident pattern may be provided.

The tamper indicating means could be configured as a“non-residue” tamper evident system, for example wherein a hidden message or tamper evident pattern is revealed on the tamper indicating means itself when tampered with/removed from an applied surface, with no residue left behind on the actual surface. Alternatively the tamper indicating means may be provided as a “partial residue” system in which a message or pattern may be left behind on the surface, but that can be readily removed, for example by being rubbed out, without any lasting residue on the surface. It being appreciated that the tamper indicating means itself would still clearly indicate a voiding message that cannot be undone. The tamper indicating means may be configured†o provide an indication of one or more of:

Physical tampering of the cover, for example physical manipulation of the cover such as attempted removal of the cover once in an affixed condition. Such indication of tampering may be via exposing/revealing of a voiding message or pattern upon fampering/affempfed removal once affixed. Alternatively or in addition, the tamper indicating means may use one or more of: security cuts, permanent adhesive/residue or the use of non-residue adhesive.

Thermal tampering of the cover, for example thermal manipulation of the cover by attempted heafing/cooling of the cover, for example in an attempt†o seek†o nullify, negate or defeat the adhesion and/or tamper indicating means. Thermochromic ink could be used in this regard.

Chemical tampering of the cover, for example chemical manipulation of the cover, such as the attempted application of chemicals/solvenfs †o the cover in an attempt†o nullify/negafe and defeat the affixing means and/or tamper indicating means. Chemically reactive ink may be used in this regard.

In some examples, the cover may be configured so as†o provide protection from ultraviolet radiation. For example, the covering member may be configured so as †o provide protection from ultraviolet radiation so as †o prevent degradation of forensic evidence.

The covering member may be configured as one or more of: a sheef-like member, a planar member and a flexible member. The covering member may comprise one or more laminate layers/membranes. In certain examples, the covering member may be configured as a semi-rigid structure or a rigid structure, for example so as †o provide a frame-like structure †o overlay forensic evidence.

Figure 2 schematically illustrates a side-on view of the apparatus 100 of Figure 1 in use, i.e. in an affixed condition 100’ in which the cover has been affixed †o a surface 105 overlaying a piece of forensic evidence 104 (for example a fingerprint) . As schematically illustrated in Figure 2 (which is not to scale) the affixing means 102 comprises the tamper indicating means 103, i.e. they are integral with one another, so as†o both affix the cover†o the surface as well as providing tamper indication upon attempted removal of the cover from the surface.

The covering member 101 is configured so as †o be breathable (as schematically indicated by arrow 106) so as†o permit wafer vapour†o pass through the covering member, in particular its central region 101’ (which is no† covered affixing means or the tamper indicating means) . The covering member is also configured so as†o be waterproof (as schematically illustrated by the s†ruck-†hrough arrow 107) so as†o preven†/resis† the passage of water therethrough.

The covering member may be configured so as†o provide a unidirectional brea†habili†y, so as†o permit the egress of water vapour and inhibit the ingress of water vapour. Advantageously, such unidirectional brea†habili†y may enable the drying ou† of the forensic evidence 104 and the sealed environment contained under the affixed cover (even in a humid/mois† ambient conditions) whilst preventing both liquid ingress as well as moisture vapour ingress through the covering member into the sealed environment underneath the covering member in the affixed condition, which may otherwise moisten or dampen the forensic evidence.

The affixing means may be configured so as†o provide a seal around the forensic evidence, thereby providing a substantially waterproof seal when in the affixed condition. The covering member may be a planar/shee†-like member having a rectilinear shape with a plurality of peripheral edges, each edge of which is provided with the affixing means and tamper indicating means. If is†o be appreciated that the covering member may be of any shape and size. For example, the covering member may be circular, i.e. having only a single encircling/circumferenfial peripheral edge. Such a single circumferential peripheral edge being provided with the affixing means and tamper indicating means such that they completely surround an encompass the circumferential edge of the circular covering member leaving a central region of the covering member devoid of any such affixing means or tamper indicating means.

The affixing means and tamper indicating means may be provided at or proximal to each peripheral edge of the covering member. As illustrated in Figures 3A and 3, the affixing means and tamper indicating means may be provided overlaying the externally facing/upper side of the covering member af a peripheral portion thereof and be configured so as †o overlap the peripheral portion thereby providing a flange portion of the affixing means and tamper indicating means that surround and encircle the covering member. Alternatively, (no† shown) the affixing means and tamper indicating means may be provided underlying an internally facing/lower side of the cover, i.e. an underside of the covering member so as†o form a band†ha† encircles/surrounds a central region of the underside of the cover member (with the central region of the cover member being devoid of affixing and tamper indicating means) .

Figure 3A shows a plan view of a cover 200 wherein the affixing means 202 and tamper indicating means 203 are integral with one another, i.e. such†ha† the tamper indicating means 203 itself provides the affixing means 202 for affixing/adhering the cover†o a surface 105. In the cover 200, the combined tamper indicating means and affixing means are provided as a tamper evident adhesive s†rip/†ape †ha† overlays the peripheral portions 201 a-d of the covering member 201 and overlaps the same so as to provide a flange portion 302a, 303a of the tamper indicating and affixing means.

Figure 3B shows an underside/boffom view of the apparatus 200 prior †o being placed in an affixed condition. The overlapping flange portions od the tamper indicating and affixing means are provided wifh/underlaid with one or more backing tapes, peelable strips or release liners 208a-d that are configured so as†o be readily peeled from the adhesive tamper indicating means by a user (without triggering the tamper indicating mechanism) thereby exposing the flange portion of the adhesive tamper indicating means ready for application and adhesion†o a surface, i.e. placing the cover in the affixed condition 200’ as per Figure 3C.

Figure 3C shows a side-on view of the cover in an affixed configuration 200’, i.e. where the cover has been affixed†o the surface 105, overlaying forensic evidence 104, sealing the forensic evidence 104 within the affixed cover 200’ and enabling the egress of water vapour (as indicated by arrow 106) and resisting the ingress of liquid (as indicated by the sfruck-fhrough arrow 107) .

Figure 4A schematically shows a cover in an affixed condition 400’ in that if has been affixed †o a surface 405 over forensic evidence 404. In the apparatus shown in Figure 4A, the cover is additionally provided with a unique identifier 409, in this case a barcode/machine readable code. Although if is appreciated that any unique identifier may be provided, no† leas† for example a unique serial number so as †o enable each individual cover†o be uniquely identified.

Figure 4B schematically illustrates the cover having been tampered with 400”. In this example, the top portion 402b, 403b and the right side portion 402c, 403c of the cover have been removed from their affixed position on the surface 405 (i.e. they have been peeled away from the surface and folded along crease line 41 1 - e.g.†o seek†o interfere with the evidence - and then replaced back in position over the surface) . Such tampering thereby activates the tamper indicating mechanism of the tamper indicating means in the affected fop and right side portions 402b, 403b and 402c, 403c.

In this example, such tampering reveals a voiding message“VOID” 410b and 410c that is visible on the tamper indicating means 402, 403 in the affected portions thereof 402b, 403b and 402c, 403c. The lower and let† hand side of the cover remain affixed†o the surface and hence no voiding message has been revealed in these sections.

Figure 4C schematically illustrates a further example of the cover having been tampered with 400’”. Figure 4C shows the cover, having been previously placed in an affixed position on a surface, in a tampered condition 400’ in that is has been fully removed from the surface. Flere, the voiding messages/famper indications 410a-410d have been revealed by the tamper indicating means on each peripheral side.

The tamper indicating means of the cover may provide an indication of tampering both on the cover itself (e.g. via the tamper evident indications 410a-410d of Figure 4C) and/or on the surface (e.g. via tamper evident indications such as tamper indicating message/paffern residue 410’a-410’d of Figure 4D) .

Figure 4D schematically illustrates an example of a tamper indication provided by cover whose the tamper indicating means is configured†o leave a residue 410’a-410’d (e.g. a permanent or semi-permanenf residue) on the surface 405 to which the cover has been affixed following the tampering /removal of the cover from the surface. In the examples of Figure 4D, with the cover having been removed, a residue 410’a-410’d from the tamper indicating means is let† behind and remains on the surface 405, in this case a voiding message“VOID” 410’a-410’d.

The cover may be manufactured in differing sizes for differing intended use, for example the cover may be dimensioned so as †o overlay/profecf a fingerprint, or a hand print, a foot print or to cover objects which may be used as evidence or potential evidence thereon (for example blood or other bodily fluids). In some examples, the cover may be made having dimensions suitably sized for providing a covering and protection for a human fingerprint or a hand print, for example dimensions that have a length and/or width: <10 cm, < 20cm, < 30cm, < 40cm, < 50cm, or between 50 and 100cm.

In some examples, the protective cover may be manufactured so as to have a dimension of greater than 100 cm, for example having dimensions sufficient to cover an entryway to a forensic scene, for example to cover a door, window, passageway to a forensic scene (for example a room, alley way or area where a crime/accident/incident has occurred) so as to protect forensic evidence in such a forensic scene from tampering/interfering by providing a tamper indicating barrier to the entryway to the forensic scene such that any attempted entry to the forensic scene, once the cover has been affixed to the entryway, would be readily identified and determined from the tamper indicating means.

Where the cover is intended to protect forensic evidence, for example fingerprints or blood marks on a surface (not least for example a window, door, wall, floor ...) it may be desirable that the covering member is transparent so as to permit user identification of the forensic evidence being protected. Where the cover is used to protect an entire forensic scene, i.e. to protect a room, it may be desirable for the cover to be made of an opaque material such that the scene is hidden from external view and shields the incident and investigation from view.

The aforementioned covers may be used and combined in a modular manner, for example so as to be combined together to provide a single larger composite cover formed of a plurality of covers affixed together, thereby increasing the total size/area which can be protected. Figure 5 schematically illustrates a system 500 for use in a forensic scene, such as a crime or accident scene, comprising a plurality of covers 501 , 502 and 503 (similar†o the covers previously described). A user is able†o affix one cover †o another, via fheir respective affixing means, so as †o create a composite protective cover that can profecf/cover large extended areas/surfaces.

In some examples, the cover may be provided as a sheet having dimensions in excess of 1 metre so as†o cover extended areas and surfaces. Such large sized covers may be used †o cover enfryways †o a forensic scene, for example†o cover an entire window (as shown in Figure 6A), a doorway as shown in Figure 6B or an alleyway as shown in Figure 6C.

Whilst the cover may be provided with tamper indicating and adhesive means on each of its peripheral sides, in use, only one or more of the sides may be used †o partially affix the cover†o a surface. For example, as indicated in Figure 6B, the upper side tamper indicating adhesive portions 602b, 603b and the right side tamper indicating adhesive portions 602c, 603c have been exposed and used†o affix the cover around a doorway, whilst the backing/release strips are kept in position for the let† most and bottom peripheral side portions of the cover so as†o enable a user†o have access and egress†o the scene 604’ but preventing any view info the scene by the public or media. In effect the cover may act as a curtain over the entrance †o a scene and hide the scene (and the on-going investigation) from view from the public and media. Similarly Figure 6C illustrates the cover being used †o hide a forensic scene 604’ from view and block entry †o the scene, moreover, ensuring the integrity of the hidden scene by providing tamper indication if the cover were†o be removed from its affixed position.

Figure 6D shows a further use of a cover acting as a shield†o a forensic scene 604” †o protect if from the elements. For example, when a crime scene investigating officer attends †o examine a scene, if if is raining, damp, snowing, misty or foggy, if can be difficult if no† impossible for the crime scene investigating officer†o examine the outside of a scene. The powders and chemicals that are typically used in crime scene investigations are highly moisture sensitive. Accordingly, any moisture in and around the forensic evidence may render the chemicals unusable for the purposes of examination. Figure 6D shows the cover in use with the topmost peripheral edge tamper indicating and affixing means 602b, 603b being used†o adhere †o a surface with the crime scene investigating officer able†o go underneath the cover and conduct an examination away from the elements with the cover preventing rain from falling on the surface of the potential evidence.

The tamper indicating means are configured that, once applied, and when subsequently sough† †o be removed, an indication of such tampering is provided. Such an indication may be via self-evident destruction of the tamper indicating means, or the revealing of patterns or messages indicating such tampering on the tamper indicating means itself as well as the surface †o which it had been applied.

The affixing means and tamper indicating means may be provided in the form of a tamper evident strip which is attached in such a manner†ha† it adheres †o an upper external surface of the covering mechanism, bu† overhangs/overlaps the edges of the same so as†o provide flange portions of the tamper evident strip which provides immediate visual recognition of the strip, having been applied†o a surface, has been tampered with, such as if an attempt has been made †o remove the tamper evident strip from a surface having been adhered †o the same. Such immediate visual recognition of tampering may correspond†o the leaving of a predetermined die cu† portion of the adhesion on the surface. The removal of such adhesion portion from the tamper evident strip may be clearly visible†o an outer side of the tamper evidence strip thereby providing an immediate visual recognition †ha† the tamper evident strip has been tampered with.

The tamper evidence strip may be applied around the edges of the covering member during the manufacturing process by any appropriate technique, no† leas† for example adhesion, stitching, heat sealing or heat welding the tamper evidence strip and the covering member together.

The distance or width around the edges of the tamper evidence strip, i.e. the flange portion, may vary in dimension on desired usage. The central portion of the covering member, which is bounded by the tamper evident strip around its edges, is no† provided with any adhesive†o prevent damage†o or compromise of the evidence once covered, as such central regions of the covering member would overlay the evidence in use.

The cover may be of any size, shape or colour. The covering medium may be made of a material coated in polyurethane (PU) and may range in density from 4oz ( 1 13.4 grams) PU upwards. The covering member may be made of a material having a waterproof membrane with a rating of 6,000-10,000 mm or higher. The covering member may be configured so as†o provide wind proofing quality.

Each individual cover may be provided with a unique reference number from a barcode or machine readable code, for example printed onto its surface, which can then further assist in providing a user with the continuity and integrity of the scene or evidence the cover is protecting.

The tamper indicating means may provide a tamper evident s†rip/†ape/seal which has die or laser cu† portions provided therein which can be cu††o suit the desired wording or design of tamper indication. The design or wording may be die or laser cu† into the tamper evident tape’s surface such†ha† if the tamper evident strip is attempted†o be removed from the adhered surface, the tape delaminates leaving on the surface some or all of its adhesive, revealing the tamper evident pattern or wording. This makes it no† possible†o simply reapply the tamper evident strip as the indication of the tampering is instantly visible. The tamper indicating means may be initially provided and covered with a protective backing film which is removed by a user†o expose the adhesive thereon and allowing the sheet†o be attached†o a surface.

In one example of possible use of the cover, a firs† responder police officer attending a crime scene (such as a burglary, criminal damage, minor assault, vehicle crime) could assess the site for most likely forensic potentials such as the point of entry or exit, footwear marks, prior attempts, visible blood, saliva etc. and cover such potential forensic evidence with covers thereby protecting the potential forensic evidence from the elements and accidental damage and moreover providing a continuity of the integrity and authenticity of the evidence by virtue of the tamper indicting means providing an assurance†ha† the forensic evidence protected thereby has no† been tampered with.

In addition †o providing protection for forensic evidence and covering the same, the cover may also be used as a screen†o shield potentially sensitive scenes from public or media view. The covers may be provided in a range of sizes and dimensions, some suitable for protecting individual object and items of forensic evidence with others being sized so as†o cover windows, doors, and entryways.

In other examples, once a room, building, vehicle or area has been searched (for example for harmful devices, listening devices) such as prior†o a VIP visit or a royal visit, it can be sealed using the cover of its entry points such as doors and windows and the security, continuity and integrity of the evidence, building, room or area which has been sealed can be proven and established by virtue of the tamper indicating means. For example, it would be immediately obvious if any tampering had taken place subsequently since the search took place, thereby saving time, costs and resources, for example instead of having an officer attending and monitoring the cite a† all times. Rather than having several officers physically stood outside every point of entry †o a serious incident scene, the cover can be used †o seal doors/windows/alleyways in a tamper evident manner which reduces the cos† of scene guarding and provides integrity and continuity of the scene and prevents view into the scene by the public or media. Scene investigators could seal the scene and make a note of a unique reference number applied†o each cover used, then, when they return, the tamper indicating means of the covers may be quickly checked †o ensure complete integrity and continuity of the scene in question.

If specialist lighting examinations are required during a serious/major crime scene investigation, the forensic scene (room, building, vehicle ...) may need †o be made light tight for various lasers or lights†o be used. In which case, the cover may be attached over doors, windows, windscreens ... so as†o quickly and easily form a light tight area for use. For such specific usages, the cover may be configured so as†o ensure it is “Ugh† tight” and provide adequate blackout properties, for example a thicker material may be used.

Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and no† for purposes of limitation.

Features described in the preceding description may be used in combinations other than the combinations explicitly described. Although functions have been described with reference †o certain features, those functions may be performable by other features whether described or no†. Although features have been described with reference†o certain examples, those features may also be present in other examples whether described or no†. Accordingly, features described in relation †o one example/aspec† of the disclosure may include any or all of the features described in relation†o another example/aspec† of the disclosure, and vice versa,†o the extent†ha† they are no† mutually inconsistent. The term‘comprise’ is used in this document with an inclusive not an exclusive meaning. That is any reference †o X comprising Y indicates that X may comprise only one Y or may comprise more than one Y. If if is intended†o use ‘comprise’ with an exclusive meaning then if will be made clear in the context by referring†o“comprising only one ..." or by using“consisting”.

In this description, reference has been made †o various examples. The description of features or functions in relation †o an example indicates that those features or functions are present in that example. The use of the term ’example’ or ‘for example’ or ‘may’ in the text denotes, whether explicitly stated or no†, †ha† such features or functions are present in a† leas† the described example, whether described as an example or no†, and†ha† they can be, bu† are no† necessarily, present in some or all other examples. Thus ‘example’, ‘for example’ or‘may’ refers†o a particular instance in a class of examples. A property of the instance can be a property of only†ha† instance or a property of the class or a property of a sub-class of the class†ha† includes some bu† no† all of the instances in the class.

In this description, references†o “a/an/†he” [feature, element, component, means ...] are †o be interpreted as “a† leas† one” [feature, element, component, means ...] unless explicitly stated otherwise.

The above description describes some examples of the present disclosure however those of ordinary skill in the ar† will be aware of possible alternative structure and features which offer equivalent functionality †o the specific examples of such structures and features described herein above and which for the sake of brevity and clarity have been omitted from the above description. Nonetheless, the above description should be read as implicitly including reference†o such alternative structures and features which provide equivalent functionality unless such alternative structures or features are explicitly excluded in the above description of the examples of the present disclosure. Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specification†o draw attention†o those features of examples of the present disclosure believed †o be of particular importance if should be understood that the applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred†o and/or shown in the drawings whether or no† particular emphasis has been placed thereon.

The examples of the present disclosure and the accompanying claims may be suitably combined in any manner apparent†o one of ordinary skill in the or†.

Each and every claim is incorporated as further disclosure into the specification and the claims are embodiment(s) of the present invention. Further, while the claims herein are provided as comprising specific dependencies, it is contemplated †ha† any claims may depend from any other claims and†ha††o the extent†ha† any alternative embodiments may result from combining, integrating, and/or omitting features of the various claims and/or changing dependencies of claims, any such alternative embodiments and their equivalents are also within the scope of the disclosure.