the most important procedure at the crime scene in terms
of solving the crime, as most clues or evidence will
come largely from the scene. However, like all other
procedures, there are specific guidelines for this practice.
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||A crime scene cannot
be permanently secured just to preserve the evidence
contained within the scene. (Imagine if a supermarket
were to be completely sealed until a robbery was
solved.) So when the investigators begin their
search, they search only for appropriate and relevant
evidence so that the crime scene can be released
as soon as possible. However, searching for relevant
evidence is not an easy task. For example, samples
of soil can help in determining which suspects
may have been present at the scene, especially
if samples found on their clothes or shoes match
with the soil found at the location, but collecting
every item related at the scene of crime would
hide vital facts in an inundation of unrelated
data. If the investigators were too selective
in their search however, they could also neglect
evidence that could possibly lead to solving the
crime. Only experience can allow investigators
to find equilibrium
between accumulating too much or too little evidence.
The use of video, photography and record on paper
helps to control exactly how many objects must
be removed from the scene.
aren't an unlikely place to search, but searchers
have to differentiate between treasure and trash.
Photo thanks to Shae Browning.
every crime scene is different, every crime scene requires
an individual approach. For example, a murder that occurred
outdoors requires a search confined to a specific, relatively
smaller area, whereas a bomb explosion can scatter evidence
over a very large distance. However, there are certain
general rules that guide the search plans for searching
a crime scene.
protective suits, masks and gloves help avoid the contaimination
of evidence and protect the searcher. Photo thanks to
Michael English and Shae Browning.
Firstly, the type of crime can
often point out the appropriate order of search. This
means that outdoor zones are always the first to be
searched, because the weather is likely to cause damage/alteration
to evidence and public areas also hold higher search
priority over private areas, as they too, are more
difficult to protect.
If a body cannot be taken
from the scene until the area around it is searched,
then that search is given priority. A body may not
be able to be removed from a scene as it may affect
or destroy important evidence that must be collected
of search are also customised to suit the crime scene.
A large open land such as fields and parks are investigated
using a line search, whereby investigators stand in
a straight line and move forward together. The line
search can reveal pieces of clothing, objects, weapons
or human remains.
Another method of search is the
grid method, which involves covering the same area
twice. The searchers cross firstly in one direction,
then again, this time at right angles to the initial
These methods of search are quite
impractical indoors, where room-by-room searches are
more suited. Room-by-room searches involve searching
every room in a house to search for incriminating
evidence. This form of search can be impractical when
large building are involved, requiring a search of
the rooms involved, hallways and exit and entry points.
|When all the evidence
has been recorded and collected, it is packed and stored
for analysis. Storing biodegradable
evidence in spirits stops the rotting process while
clothing and artifacts are stored in sealable bags.
The careful handling, labeling and isolation of the
evidence may be time consuming, but has become an increasingly
important process, especially for Deoxyribonucleic Acid
(DNA) analysis. DNA analysis can be ruined or become
inaccurate if the DNA sample becomes contaminated, hence
the need for responsible handling. Find out more under
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