Assessing Awareness and Knowledge About Forensic Dentistry Among Law Enforcement Agencies in Bengaluru City - Police Department

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Dr. Krishnanand P S, Dr. Vidya M A, Dr. Sheema Anjum, Dr. Sejal Bhardwaj, Dr. Shiksha Sunil Mukundapanavar


Introduction: Forensic odontology encompasses the systematic management, examination, evaluation, and presentation of dental evidence within the framework of criminal or civil proceedings, all with the ultimate aim of ensuring justice. In this regard, the primary responders to crime scenes are invariably police personnel, tasked with establishing the integrity of the chain of custody. Their adeptness in identifying and proficiently preserving biological evidence assumes heightened significance in the progressively burgeoning field of forensic odontology. The objective of the study: This study aims to assess the level of knowledge, awareness, and interest regarding forensic odontology among law enforcement personnel in Bengaluru. Forensic odontology, the application of dental expertise in legal investigations, is a field of increasing importance. This study aims to underscore the significance of forensic odontology within the context of law enforcement. The findings of this study could have far-reaching implications. If the survey reveals a knowledge gap or lack of awareness about forensic odontology among law enforcement personnel, it might underscore the need for targeted training and awareness programs. This, in turn, could result in swifter and more accurate identifications, stronger cases in court, and overall improvements in the criminal justice system's efficacy. Materials and methods: The willing participants received a structured questionnaire in English. The questionnaire included 29 KAP criteria-based questions distributed among officials on a working day. Information about the study was provided to all the participants and consent was taken. Results/ Findings: This study established that the understanding of forensic odontology was modest. It was refreshing to note that most of the respondents were eager to learn more from domain experts through workshops & short training courses. Still, the majority indicated that a lack of facilities was the biggest hindrance. Conclusion: This study, done in the police department, shed insight into these officials' knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and practices. It was observed that the understanding of forensic odontology is reasonable, but formal training and workshops are warranted. This study demonstrated that dental evidence can be examined with the assistance of a forensic odontologist.

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