Speakers » Brian Somers

Brian Somers

Forensic Document Examiner, National Document Fraud Unit, UK

Plastic Surgery – Minor Augmentation to Major Facelift

•    Forgery and counterfeiting of polymer substrates;
•    Design considerations to counter the threat.

The continued move to plastic substrates in secure documentation has caused forgers and counterfeiters to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. This forced evolution is nothing new to the committed criminal who embraces the need to continue to develop his/her art form.  With identity products often having lifespans exceeding 10 years, constant evolution is a luxury that the security industry does not have. This talk will discuss current attack methodologies directed at plastic documents and look at how these can possibly influence design for the future.

Brian Somers is a specialist identity document examiner attached to the National Document Fraud Unit (NDFU) of the Immigration Intelligence Command. He has worked in forgery and counterfeiting detection since 1988 and has 21 years of forensic experience.

As well as being a trainer in detection techniques for the UK Home Office, he has trained staff of other UK agencies such as the Police Service, Benefits Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, and Foreign Office. Other training credits include document examination officers from the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and Malta. He assisted Bosnia in the setting up of their document section in Sarajevo, and was a guest instructor at the European Seminar for Expert Document Examiners in both 1999 and 2000 (Zutphen, Netherlands), the European Seminar on Polymer Substrates (Lisbon 2006 and 2008), and the Frontex European Seminar for Document Specialists (Amsterdam 2008, 2011, 2016).

Brian holds a Masters Degree in Identity Document examination from Strathclyde University and has consulted on a number of secure document projects – notably advising Her Majesty’s Passport Office on the design of the last two United Kingdom passports. He specialises in digital imaging, adversarial testing and document design.

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