Electrostatic detection device

An electrostatic detection device, EDD or ESDA, is a specialized piece of equipment commonly used in questioned document examination to reveal indentations or impressions in paper that may otherwise go unnoticed. It is a non-destructive technique (will not damage the evidence in question), allowing further tests to be carried out. It is a sensitive technique capable of detecting indentations on pages several layers below the top sheet and many years after the indentations were created.

EDD equipment and investigative techniques were central to overturning a number of convictions in the United Kingdom, as it was possible to demonstrate that witness statements had been altered or signed as blank pages in reverse order to the main notes. This was central in a number of cases investigated at the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad that were appealed. The allegations of tampering with evidence and witness statements led to the unit being disbanded, and over 60 convictions being quashed, many of the appeals relying on EDD evidence.[1]