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What is Forensic Locksmithing?

A home, office or business establishment that has been intruded by burglars can be subject for investigation. It’s possible that these burglars made an entry during the night by gaining access to the security system or door locks. During the investigation, Forensic Locksmithing will be carried out.

Lockpicking Forensics shares the definition of Forensic Locksmithing as:

…the study and systematic examination of a lock or other security device or associated equipment using scientific methods to determine if and how the device was opened, neutralized, or bypassed. These examinations include the use of various types of forensic techniques, […] and includes microscopic examination, microphotography, regular photography, physical disassembly of the device or devices, and on occasion laboratory techniques, such as metallurgy and tool mark identification may be conducted. – Don Shiles, Former President, Intl. Assoc. of Investigative Locksmiths

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A blog on Forensic Locksmithing – Security Investigations by Lock Techs San Diego gives clear information on Forensic Locksmithing.

What is Forensic Locksmithing? Forensic Locksmithing

Forensic Locksmithing is also known as investigative locksmithing. This specialty is designed for people who are masters at locks and their formation. They have mastered the layout of locks and intimately know when places are out of place. Their primary task is to tell if a lock was tampered.

The forensic locksmith would examine the lock from exterior to interior, and there are tell-tale signs of when a lock has been tampered with. Irregular scratches, loose screws, rotated gears, loose key cylinders, shifted tailpiece receivers. There are countless ways to manipulate a lock be it malicious or not. The challenge of forensic locksmiths comes when they have to determine whether or not it was intentional or not, scratching can be performed when a user misses the mark, which is incredibly common, loose screws could be a heavy-handed resident, and general wear & tear can move any part from the inside.

Here is a helpful video you must watch by Sedgwick.

For you to know that you are dealing with an expert Forensic Locksmith, thus must have knowledge in various areas such as locksmithing primarily, investigation on a crime scene, photography, microphotography and microscopy, collection of evidence and preservation, prepare investigative reports and deliver an expert testimony through verbal communication.

Forensic Locksmithing also basically requires the same tools as what a locksmith uses. But a Forensic Locksmith requires more equipment to better perform the investigation. Locksmithing jobs are not only limited to men. Yes, there are also female locksmiths out there. An article at by Hugo Reed discusses that there are only 12% of female Locksmiths and 88% are male.

Below is a short except from the full article.

The Locksmith industry has been dominated by men (pretty much like everything else) for the past few decades. There are many assumptions that can be drawn from this claim, I drew a few of them myself. One might be inclined to think that the lack of female locksmiths is due to gender inequality, and they would not be wrong to make such an assumption. However, that does not mean that is the only answer to the question “Are there any female locksmiths out there?” In an attempt to answer this question we went on a quest of medieval proportions (we conducted a survey) to try and determine how many female locksmiths are out there, and to also figure out the different factors that had a role to play in this.

We thought that this topic was worth exploring because of how relevant it is and how relevant it is going to be years from now. The locksmith industry is primed for growth, and its rate of employment is well above the national average…read more.

As time goes by, the 12% will surely grow and we’ll see more female locksmiths than now; even female Forensic Locksmiths. However, this article is not mainly on the discussion of the percentage of male and female locksmiths in the field today. The prime goal of Forensic Locksmithing then would be to reduce cases of theft as intruders will know of the possibility of being caught after a thorough investigation is done.

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