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A good crime scene investigation involves the application of modern scientific methods, deductive reasoning and well established physical evidence which will enhance the determination of the exact events surrounding the crimes. The manner at which the examination of the crime scene is carried out and the quality of the examination are significant to the success of the investigations. Always, the improper crime handling hinders the justice process. The various aspects of the crime scene investigation include quality assurance, the quality systems accreditation, specialist crime related scientific disciplines and special education and training. This paper describes a crime scene and the techniques. It also reviews specialist crime scene examinations including clandestine laboratories, drug operations, arson, and explosives. This paper describes an imaginary crime scene and an approach to the examination of that scene. It also describes the involved appropriate specialized personnel and their roles in the investigation.
Crime scene investigation
The crime scene investigation is a process that is carried out to record the status of the scene as it is encountered. It involves the finding and collection of the physical evidence that is relevant to the involved case. From the first responders to the end users of the crime information, all the involved personnel should have a high understanding of forensic process and all the services that are provided by the forensic laboratories. For instance, the first responders to the crime scene are the law enforcement officers such as the police who play an important role of preserving the integrity of the scene through securing it with crime scene tapes and also ensuring security. They carry out the early documentation of the scene, evidence and all other activities that are related to the crime scene. To carry out these tasks, the officers/first responders should be people with adequate training (UNODC).
The other important personnel in the scene are the forensic officers who work with the police to trace and collect the required evidence from the crime scene. These officers have adequate training in various areas such as toxicology, lie detection, DNA detection etc (Owens S, 2010). Since the crime sine investigation determines the fate of the case, these forensic officers manages the various logistics of the scene, manages other personnel, the information from other players and the available investigation technology. Based on the earlier scene observations, the officer establishes the order at which the evidence is collected. The evidence is collected and preserved to avoid any contamination and to ensure that each item is accounted for. To ensure quality investigation, the crime scene is well documented through various methods such as taking photos and videos, writing notes, and making sketches. All the documentation steps are important as it serves as a record of the crime scene after the evidence has been taken (Cox, C).
While in the crime scene, the investigations and forensic activities are governed by the local laws and regulations. These laws relate some significant issues such as how to get the authority of entering the crime scene, how to conduct the investigation and how to handle the evidences. When the investigators fail to adhere to these laws and regulations, it may result into a situation where the collected evidence is not used in the court of law. Therefore, it is very important for the investigators to properly comply with the rules and regulations. In addition, the professional conduct codes should prevail at the crime scenes. These codes ensure professionalism, open mindedness, impartiality and objectivity during the investigation (National Forensic Science Technology Center).
The response to the crime scene is a critical step in the investigation process. Unless carefully handled, the whole investigation may be compromised.