The Importance of Effective Crime Scene Management
The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the relevant literature to explain the importance of securing crime scenes in order to protect evidence from contamination and preserve it for use by the courts. In addition, a discussion concerning different methods that might be necessary to document evidence at a crime scene and different collection methods that might be used at a crime scene is followed by an explanation concerning the chain of custody and why it is important. Finally, the repercussions of failing to protect evidence or establish chain of custody is followed by an explanation concerning how an investigator or forensic expert differentiates between what is or is not evidence. A summary of the research and key findings concerning the foregoing issues are presented in the paper’s conclusion.
Review and Discussion
Why it is important to secure the crime scene and salient examples
The most important reason for securing a crime scene is to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of law enforcement and other first responders are protected. A second important reason for securing crime scenes is to prevent the contamination of any evidence that might be available (Almirall, Ballou, Carroll et al., 2013). For example, there may still be criminal suspects in crime scene that could represent a threat to first responders or there may be hazardous materials such as biological or radiological weapons or chemical threats that would endanger first responders but which must still be preserved as evidence to avoid contamination (Almirall et al., 2013) as discussed further below
Identify possible ways that evidence might be contaminated
There are multiple ways that evidence might be contaminated at a crime scene depending on the type of evidence that is involved. For instance, emergency medical responders’ (EMS’) first priority is to protect the medical rights and wellbeing of any injured victims of a crime and evidence may be contaminated in the process of providing this emergency medical care (Casey & Burke,…
…if the chain of custody is broken at any point. For example, Richards emphasizes that, “Any breaks in the chain of custody can result in the evidence being inadmissible in court” (5.4).
Explain how an investigator or forensic expert differentiates between what is or is not evidence
Although professional training can help identify various types of evidence at a crime scene, every crime scene is unique in some fashion and forensic experts must therefore also rely on empirical observations , experience and intuition to ensure that no evidence is overlooked (Almirall et al., 2013).
At first blush, securing a crime scene sounds like a straightforward enterprise. The research, however, was consistent in showing that there are a number of factors that must be taken into account when securing a crime scene, including most especially the safety and wellbeing of first responders and crime victims. Securing a crime scene is also important in order to protect evidence from contamination and it is essential that the integrity of the…
Almirall, J. R., Ballou, S., Carroll, P. et al. (2013, September). Crime scene investigation: A guide for law enforcement. Largo, FL: National Forensic Science Technology Center.
Casey, J. & Burke, T. (2009, June). Police and EMS. Law & Order, 51(6), 97-101.
Gehl, R. (2019). Crime scene management. Introduction to Criminal Investigations. Retrieved from https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/criminalinvestigation/chapter/chapter-8-crime-scene-management/.
Florida International University, National Forensic Science Technology Center. (n.d.). Crime scene investigation guide. Retrieved from https://www.nfstc.org/products/crime-scene-investigation-guide/.
Richards, G. E. Chapters 3, 5 and 6.
Crime Scene Investigation: Homicide and Its Psychological Effects Crime scene investigation is often a challenging and difficult line of work for even the most experienced law enforcement agent. There are some crimes that are more difficult to handle spiritually and emotionally than others. Crimes against children and the elderly are often most difficult to excuse and most difficult for crime scene investigators to process psychologically (Swanson, Chamelin & Territo, 1999: 313).
The may differ considerably. In fact smaller agencies may not require a degree, while a degree will usually be required with larger metropolitan agencies. (How to become a CSI) Conclusion In conclusion, a central aspect that research into this field reveals is that Crime Scene investigation differs considerably from the popular media presentations. CSI is a complex sector of criminal law enforcement and is characterized by the input form various specializations
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