What is the significance of the KTU

The KTU is the undoing of many perpetrators ...

The KTU Wuppertal is the undoing of many perpetrators! The forensic investigation center is one of the most modern in Germany.

From our August print edition - Wuppertal, August 12, 2017 - In the investigation of the double murder of the millionaire couple Christa and Enno Springmann, the Forensic Investigation Unit (KTU) Wuppertal, one of the most modern KTU’s in Germany, may have played a very important role. But what does such a facility actually do? We went looking for clues for you once.

In any case, the KTU Wuppertal has little in common with the TV models from CSI from America - and yet the Forensic Investigation Center in Wuppertal does valuable and important work in solving crimes with over 20 employees. The police station is headed by a chief detective.

Large police authorities, including Wuppertal, have special offices that can secure and analyze traces with trained specialists. For this work, in addition to the technical know-how of the officers, special high-tech devices and very special rooms are required.

In the course of the renovation work at the Wuppertal Police Headquarters, it quickly became clear that the old laboratory no longer met the current requirements. In April 2016, the KTU laboratory therefore moved into new and more modern premises in the Wuppertal police headquarters.

In addition to the offices, the laboratory, the filing center, a workshop with an armory and the room for identification services, there are also two perpetrator-victim rooms. In these, for example, the clothing of offenders and victims is examined separately from one another so that a mixture of traces can be excluded.

"With the help of the most modern devices, traces can now be made visible and evaluated even more conveniently, which are far more reliable as objective evidence than testimony, for example," explains police press spokesman Christian Wirtz. The laboratory has been modernized in accordance with the specified EU guidelines and equipped with the latest technical means for the detection of invisible traces. Thanks to the EU standard, fingerprint traces that are made visible here are recognized as evidence by the courts in all 27 EU countries - apart from Great Britain.

What makes the investigators' work so special? “The work is very varied - no two crime scenes are the same. In addition, the officers are very specialized and have acquired extensive qualifications for their work, ”says Christian Wirtz.

An essential part of the criminal investigation work consists in solving crimes. This investigative work can be divided into two areas: On the one hand, suspects, witnesses and victims are questioned. These statements are called “personal evidence” or “subjective evidence”.

On the other hand, in the vast majority of cases, traces (fingerprints, DNA traces, fiber traces, etc.) are secured, evaluated and used as evidence in criminal proceedings. These traces are called "material evidence".

Since physical evidence is objective and cannot lie, it is given great importance. Police press spokesman Wirtz: "If you can prove to a suspect by means of a DNA trace or a fingerprint that he was at the scene, the suspect will of course have to explain." - Just like the two suspects in the Springmann murder case ...

Text: Miriam Genenger