Forensic document examiner reveals all

2016-07-13 06:00
Photo: tania sandberg Forensic document examiner, Mike Irving F.D.E. (USA) and DIP I.R. (E.E).

Photo: tania sandberg Forensic document examiner, Mike Irving F.D.E. (USA) and DIP I.R. (E.E).

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ONE of the most interesting conversations one can have is with a forensic document examiner.
A chance meeting with a friend, Patricia­ McCann, chairperson of the Upper South Coast Art Association, led to me to interviewing Amanzimtoti resident, Mike Irving, a private forensic document examiner, and getting the lowdown on his specialised work.

Irving is a founder member of The South African Association of Forensic Document Examiners, established in March 2008. While employed as an investigator by a Durban investigative business in 1995, the need for a local document examiner was identified.
Training is not offered locally and Irving undertook a correspondence course, conducted by Andrew Bradley and Associates. Bradley is fully accredited by the U.S., and retired in 2002.

WI: “Safeguard your personal documents such as wills, insurance policies, identity documents or any documents which feature your identity or banking details by locking them up. Identity theft is a huge problem in our country.”

Interesting facts

• Documents submitted for examination should be original documents.

• Original documents are three-dimensional, copies are two-

• Comparative documents should be signed or authored around the same time period.

• Cursive handwriting could not be compared to printed handwriting and vice versa.

• Never request anybody to author handwriting or signatures specifically for examination.

• Examinations cannot be conducted using only one signature or a limited portion of handwriting “known to be authentic”.

For further information contact Irving on


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