COUNTY Durham's "murder mansion" unveiled its secrets to Government Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong as she checked up on new crimefighting techniques.

Police forces all over the world send students to catch up on advances in forensic science at Harperley Hall, near Crook, which houses the Centrex National Training Centre for Scientific Support to Crime Investigation.

Ms Armstrong, MP for North-West Durham, saw demonstrations of investigation techniques, including enhancement of fingerprints and recovery of evidence from guns, footwear and paper.

Centre director Peter Ablett said: "It was a valuable opportunity to discuss the important role forensic science plays in the delivery of safe and effective justice.

"Advances in the field of forensic science are making it increasingly possible to provide proof beyond reasonable doubt."