Crime Scene Good and Bad Practices Assignment

Crime Scene Good and Bad Practices Assignment Words: 1346

Module : Chemical / Physical Forensics Assignment : The Organisation and Management of a Crime Scene Student : Marc Seccombe 10696644 Part One Produce a report that describe for this crime scene, how you would, * Preserve and prevent contamination. * Search and record the crime scene including listing and storing the evidence. (1500 to 2000 words) Crime scene 27c Leek Road. The First Officer Attending (FOA) the scene will have carried out an initial assessment of the crime scene and following procedure will have called for assistance and dealt with ny emergencies and made a record of his assessment and actions , making note of the time his arrival time, were any points of entry open or closed, locked or unlocked, environmental factors and any witnesses and communicate his/her assessment to the designated Officer in Charge. (OIC) The FOA will initially be responsible for the preservation of the crime scene and will have created a cordon, possibly an outer and inner cordon, which a uniformed officer(s) should patrol and log personnel authorised to enter the crime scene area. Authorised personel nclude, the FOA , OIC, uniform police officers, Scenes of Crime Officers, Forensic Scientists, Pathologist, Police surgeon, Specialist photographer/videographer, Forensic Entomologists, Forensic anthropologists and bomb disposal experts and in the case of Arson, a fire investigation specialist. After handover from the FOA to the OIC, a Common Approach Path (CAP) can be laid down with the deployment of stepping plates from the cordon to the focal point of the crime scene. This should be laid in a manner that is unlikely to coincide with the perpetrator(s) or victims movements in or out of the scene.

As the CAP is created, the course it takes should be photographed using wide and medium range shots and close up shots of the focal point before any potential evidence can be disturbed. As the CAP is created the course will be searched for physical evidence and evidence found should be photographed in situ before removal in accordance with standard procedure. All authorised personnel entering the crime scene should be attired appropriately in Personal Protective Equipment including face mask and overshoes to avoid contamination of the scene and potential evidence.

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It is of the utmost importance that the crime scene should be recorded fully by means of notes, sketch, photography and videography before being processed. These actions provide a permanent record of the crime scene in the way it was found and an aide memoire to the investigating officers, provide an account of the steps taken in the investigation and record delicate evidence before recovery in case it is destroyed in the recovery process. Photographs should give both a wide overview of the scene and close ups of any potential evidence or items of interest in situ. A sketch of the scene should be ontemporaneous and show a wider overview of the scene including dimensions, plotting the position of evidence found before removal and the locations from where and angle of photographs taken. Sketches can provide a useful overview providing a greater width and depth of field of view and show the important features without the distraction of unnecessary detail as within the photographic record (Jackson R, Jackson J 2011 ). Notes taken at the scene should include who reported the incident, time and date, location, nature of incident, the events that took place, the roles and locations of the eople concerned and any change that may have occurred to the scene between the event and the the arrival of the FOA. Accurate logs must be made of the identities of all people who have been at the scene and at what times they were there from the time of arrival of the FOA to the completion of processing the crime scene. Detailed accounts of the actions taken by the aforementioned personnel and the time line Of events of key times and dates should be noted. A log of all sketches and images taken at the scene , location and identity of the camera operator, direction of photographs the ime and date of photograph and any specialist equipment used; a record of all items recovered and removed from the scene and the identity of the person recovering it with the time and date with the exact location from where it was removed from. Also a thorough and complete description of the scene as it was found prior to the removal of items deemed to be of evidential worth. Having first processed the exterior for evidential clues such as point of entry or footprints or tool markings the Scene of Crime Officer can proceed to processing the inside ,in this ase a Zone search pattern should be deployed dividing the room into quadrants. Once each quadrant has been searched and evidence to be removed photographed, the evidence can be removed . (Pepper I, 2005) The principals of packaging evidence are to ensure appropriate storage of a piece of evidence and to ensure no contamination or loss occurs whilst collecting the sample or in storage and the continuity of the evidence from crime scene to lab to court. There are many different types of packaging available including polythene evidence bags with labels and tamper proof seals.

Brown paper sacks are used for clothing or soil samples where use of polythene might cause the sample to decay . Boxes are used for sharp items such as glass or firearms , these boxes should be taped at the bottom and should contain a check strap to stop movement of a piece of evidence once placed inside. A variety of plastic tubes and containers are also utilised for collection of knives or tools . Digital items must be contained in antistatic bags. Very small items such as hair or paint chips can placed in folded paper envelopes then placed in polythene bags.

Whatever packaging is used it must be sealed securely. When using polythene or paper sacks it is imperative that the open end be folded over twice ( Pepper I ,2005) to ensure that no particles can enter the bag or evidence fall out. It is best practice to take the container to the sample rather than the sample to the container. (Pepper ,I 2005) It is important to take control samples from the scene to distinguish between background and evidential samples and to compare against know samples. It is wise to double wrap items in a suitable second container. Jackson R Jackson J 2011) The packaging must be labeled with the name of the scene of crime officer who took the Sample, date it was recovered and the location and an identifier. Completion of CJA (Criminal Justice Act 1996) labels must be observed. (Pepper I, 2005) The CJA label is where the unique identifier mark will usually be the initials of the scene of crime officer who took the sample and a crime reference or job number. The label will also show all persons who have subsequently examined that piece of evidence in the chain of continuity of evidence.

Evidence removed from a scene of crime must be stored in secure facilities with appropriate environmental controls to stop decay or breakdown and damage. Different samples have different storage requirements, example biological specimens will normally be kept refrigerated or frozen. A Crime Scene Investigation Report Form should always be completed at the time of examination. This should include a general overview of the scene ,the weather conditions at the time of examination, the type of person or property attacked, a description of the oint of entry, a description of how entry was gained , the objective of the crime , the time of the crime , how many people were involved, was a vehicle used, any modus operandi. This will assist in the preparation of a statement later by the scene of crimes officer. There are a number of databases available to list, track and manage evidence, one of the first was HOLMES (Home Office Major Enquiry System), FLINTS (Force Linked Intelligence Sytem),SOCRATES,GENIE,PRISM and The Locard integrated and automated evidence tracking System which allows users to input data directly from a crime scene . (Pepper I, 2005).

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