There is an ever-increasing recognition of the value of human identification experts in the field of judicial investigations but the available expertise is widely spread across the country and cross-disciplinary informal interaction is sporadic. In August of 2001 a small group of experts (led by Peter Vanezis the first President of the Association and Sue Black, the first Secretary) met to consider the desirability and feasibility of encouraging practitioners from the myriad of speciality subjects, to come together under one parental umbrella of Human Identification. It was clear from that meeting that there was both the will and the need to consolidate the subject. The inaugural meeting of the British Association for Human Identification was held on the 6th October 2001 at the University of Glasgow.
The primary aim of the Association was to encourage productive interchange between various disciplines in human identification, promote the academic integration of individual subjects and through the medium of a collective body, pursue standards of excellence and innovative developments.
In 2006, on its 5th anniversary, BAHID produced its first textbook edited by Tim Thompson and Sue Black entitled ‘Forensic Human Identification – An introduction’. All royalties from the sale of this text pass directly back to BAHID.
Although in the early stages meetings were held every six months, there is now an annual scientific conference and previous venues have included Glasgow, Bradford, London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Dublin, Holland and Guildford.
Most recently CIFA (Centre for International Forensic Assistance) has recognised BAHID as the means of communication with practitioners and trainees in Forensic Anthropology for the purposes of the national UK DVI response capability.
Currently BAHID has over 400 members and student members from 17 different disciplines. Members come from academic, law enforcement, private business, institutional and legal backgrounds and rely on the Association to provide a forum for discussion and promotion of subjects within the domain of human identification.
Although this is the British Association there are members outside the UK from elsewhere in Europe, the US and Australia, and membership throughout the world is encouraged.
With the development and increased utilisation of many biometrics for human identification BAHID is currently attempting to further widen its membership and invites enrolment from all relevant biometric fields.