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3.1 Crime scene investigation - lecture notes

3.1 Crime scene investigation - lecture notes - p.1...

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p.1 YSCN0017 From Sherlock Holmes to modern forensic science The Crime Scene Physical evidence includes all objects that can: establish that a crime has been committed, provide a link between a crime and its victim, or link a crime to its perpetrator. Forensic science begins at the crime scene. If the investigator cannot recognize physical evidence or cannot properly preserve the evidence for laboratory examination, no amount of sophisticated laboratory instrumentation or technical expertise can salvage the situation. Therefore, certain fundamental practices are required in processing the crime scene. Secure and Isolate the Crime Scene First priority is to provide medical assistance to individuals in need of it and to arrest the perpetrator. The first officers on site should then preserve and protect the area by excluding all unauthorized personnel from the scene because every individual who enters the scene is a potential destroyer of physical evidence. As additional officers arrive, the area should be isolated by ropes or barricades with strategic positioning of guards. Record the Scene Investigators will have only a limited amount of time to record the crime scene in its untouched state. Such records will be useful in the subsequent investigation. The records may also be presented at a trial as documentation of the condition of the crime site to delineate the location of physical evidence. Photography, sketches, and notes are the main methods of crime-scene recording. Photography As items of physical evidence are discovered, they are photographed to show their position and location relative to the entire scene. Unless there are injured parties involved, objects must not be moved until they have been photographed from all necessary angles. If objects are removed, positions changed, or items added, the photographs may not be admissible as evidence at a trial. If the crime scene includes a body, photographs must be taken to show the body’s position and location relative to the entire scene. After the body is removed from the scene, the surface beneath the body should be photographed. If the crime has taken place indoors, the entire room should be photographed to show each wall area.
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p.2 Close-up photos depicting injuries and weapons lying near the body are also necessary. Ruler or other measuring scale is inserted near the object and included in the photograph as a point of reference if its size is of significance. Three-dimensional panoramic view of the crime scene can be obtained by stitching individual images of the crime scene captured with a digital camera. Videotaping can be an alternative for capturing the crime scenes; however, still photographing remains unsurpassed in the definition of details. Sketches
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