The research base for the use of forensic gait analysis as a contributor to human identification is growing, with groups in a number of countries tackling some of the fundamental challenges. In the UK there are two main strands to this work.
The work at the University of Southampton, led by Professor Mark Nixon, has concentrated on the use of the human outline during gait as a means of identification, and is aimed at using this information as a biometric identifier.
The work at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, led by Professor Wesley Vernon and Professor Ivan Birch, has taken a more biomechanical approach centred on the relative movement of the head, torso and limbs as comparative characteristics of the gait of subjects seen in different pieces of CCTV footage. This work, which commenced in 2011, has been disseminated through presentations at key national and international conferences, and has resulted in a number of peer reviewed publications.
Projects to date have included investigations into the reliability of identification using forensic gait analysis, the assessment of the quality of CCTV footage, the effect of frame rate on identification of characteristics of gait, the relationship between emotion and gait, the development of a features of gait database and the development and validation of a tool for observational gait analysis in the forensic context.
If you would like to know more about the research we are undertaking, or be involved in our research projects, please feel free to contact us.