A pioneering forensic process developed in the West Midlands has been hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against crime.
The new technique, being piloted by four police forces, has been created by the Forensic Science Service (FSS), which is based at Birmingham Business Park, in Solihull.
The Government-owned body claims it can help solve tens of thousands of unsolved crimes and is a world-first in bringing clarity to forensic samples that were previously uninterpretable.
The new technique, DNA-boost, allows scientists to pinpoint DNA samples when more than one individual has touched a surface, where only small amounts of DNA have been left behind or only poor quality material was found. Experts said it could boost crime detection rates by more than 15 per cent.
It is being put into practice by police forces in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Northumbria and Humberside, and could be rolled out to others following the three-month pilot.
FSS scientists believe DNA-boost could be the key to countless "cold cases" which have lain dormant in police files.