Virtual Anthropology Consultancy Service - a free consultancy service for all forces

The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee offers a free Virtual Anthropology Consultancy Service (VACS).

One of the first questions to be asked on the discovery of skeletal remains is ‘are they human?’ A swift negative response has a significant positive financial impact for the force involved whilst an affirmative answer ensures that appropriate procedures are duly implemented without delay. Through the use of email the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification gives the police a way to have this question answered quickly by the appropriate experts.

How to Access this free resource:

Take some good quality photographs of the bones in question, ensure these images are taken in a good light, are in focus and include a scale. Take as many views of the bone(s) as possible. The images can be sent as jpegs allowing for a large number to be sent (this is the format that we recommend). Once you have your image(s), then, Simply email your image(s), contact details and query to:

During office hours many forces choose to alert the Centre that the images are being sent by calling 01382 388825. This service is not limited to 9‐5 and the email address is monitored during the evenings and at weekends.

The email is automatically sent to a number of staff who will have the expertise to deal with your query and you will be informed quickly whether the bones are human or not.