Out of all the data resources that could help solve a crime, an insect database isn’t one that normally comes to mind. However, Dubai police are working on a database of all insects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of their strategy to use forensic entomology in solving crimes.
Brigadier-General Ahmed Matar Al Muhairi, deputy director of the General Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology, said “Examining insects that can be found in a victim’s corpse may lead to information about how the crime happened, when he or she was killed, what the exact time of death was, and whether it happened at night or in the morning.”
The Dubai Police Department is collaborating with a research team led by Dr. Jeffrey Wells, a professor at FIU’s Department of Biological Sciences. The effort is funded by the Center of Advanced Research in Forensic Science (CARFS) to create the insect database. The National Science Foundation (NSF)‘s Industry University Cooperative Research Center Program (IUCRC) funds CARFS at FIU.
This project is important for the Dubai police since their region is very scarce on forensic entomology studies.