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Fatal stabbing inside the victimís own home (block of flats)

Fatal stabbing inside the victims own home
Fatal stabbing inside the victims own home

Choose ONE of the crime scenarios listed below

  1. Fatal stabbing inside the victimís own home (block of flats)
  2. Clandestine burial in woodland
  3. Fatal Shooting in a residential street

In the first part of this essay you are required to evaluate how the chosen crime scene would be effectively preserved to prevent contamination and maximize forensic recovery. In the second part you are required to analyse the use of forensic experts at that scene.

Learning outcomes:

†LO3 Ė Demonstrate advanced approaches to preservation including contamination considerations

LO4 Ė Investigate the use of specialists and external agencies within the examination of crime scenes

Fatal stabbing inside a victimís home (block of flats)

Introduction

I have chosen fatal stabbing inside a victimís home as my crime scene, I will be evaluating and explaining how the crime scene would be preserved to stop any contamination, to maximise forensic recovery and continuity, I will also talk about personnelís attending the crime scene, what their roles are and finally I will be explaining how the use of forensic experts will be neutralised at the scene. For example evidence at a crime scene has come into question, the forensic experts in crime forensic will provide analysis of the evidence, collection and storage and the validity of the evidence; it can also consist of being an expert witness, someone who will give forensic related opinions at a trial in court by giving their specialised knowledge.

A fatal stabbing in a victimís home is a major crime, the first person to attend the crime scene are the FAO (first attending officers) they will recollect key actions, starting off with preserving life of the victim, this is a primary aim and it overrides everything else at the scene, after the victim has been attended to they will start to preserve the crime scene, this is the next important activity at a major crime scene; once this crime scene is to a satisfactory level then the scene will be secured. Then they start to secure the evidence, for them to do this they will need to use crime scene tape to produce a cordon, as soon as the cordon is completed then more specialist people will be allowed into the scene e.g. SOCO, CSI and specialist staff. During this time a scene a scene logger will be instigated, there is only one scene logger per crime scene so anyone that enters and exits the crime scene will need to be logged; the log will then become an exhibit for this investigation. The log has to contain:

Before any examination take place with this investigation the CSM (crime scene manager) will need to assess the scene, they will start to question police members that are present this is for them to gain an understanding on whatís happened, in this case a fatal stabbing the CSM would be aware of that. Once this scene has been examined by the CSM a common approach path will need to be established; a path cleared of all forensic evidence and a clear route for all people who entre the scene, once the perimeter of the scene is secured the next action to be taken is to get to the main focal point of the crime scene, is this instance where the victim was stabbed and the blood on the floor. A risk assessment and health and safety check will need to be done at this crime scene, for example the offender could still be in the victims flat armed with a weapon, they may have an uncontrollable pet and the lighting may be poor.

An important factor of the investigation is the suspect responsible? There are two scientific examinations which are split in two aspects, Examinations of any materials which has been left behind either on the injured victim or the scene which will be a characteristic of the suspect and also examination of clothing from the suspect which provides material characteristics of the victim and scene.

The SOCO will start to select their exhibits for seizure, though only a small number of exhibits that is collected at crime scenes will make it to the court process so it could be difficult for the SOCO to select in the early stages of the investigation so a systematic of preserving evidence, examining, collecting and making sure all scene exhibits are recorded needs to be followed so any exhibit that does makes its way to court will have its integrity maintained, any specialists present at the scene will have the power to direct the SOCO on what exhibits to recover from this crime scene. In this instance the SOCO would need to search for a knife and seize it. When SOCO seize items from this crime scene they need to ensure it is recovered in a way so that it wonít damage its characteristics or even affect that could also be on that item, evidence such as a knife left at the flat the SOCO will need to consider fingerprints left on that knife so care should be taken when lifting the prints to make sure they are not rubbed off, wearing gloves will prevent the SOCO from leaving their own prints on the knifeÖalso SOCO need to be aware that swabbing exhibits for DNA can wipe away a section of fingerprints. As this is a serious crime, evidence will need to be photographed in situ with its identifying label, the evidence is then recovered and securely packaged. The integrity of all evidence types needs to be maintained and not lose or gain any materials. Evidence need to be packaged in a clear bag, paper bags and cardboard boxes, once all the exhibits are securely recovered the packaging will need to be sealed in a plastic tamper Ė proof exhibit bag. The method for the CSIís to do this is writing down their signature over adhesive tape which seals the bag to ensure no one can get in and tamper with evidence. Every item in a police investigation is given an identifying mark, all exhibits from every crime scene needs to be given a label so it does not get mixed with other exhibits. Anyone who has handled an item will need to write a statement which details their involvement in the exhibits continuity, they will also need to make reference to the label and sign it. ďAll exhibits need to arrive at the place of examination and at the courts in the same condition as it left the crime scene without losing any materials, its integrity will also need to be maintained, it is important that when any exhibit is taken from a crime scene it will need to be packaged securely which prevents it from becoming contaminated with other materials or even contaminating other materials and being misidentified with other materialsĒ. Any evidence that has been tampered and become contaminated with can disrupt the scene and the case will be thrown out of court.

Minimising contamination in this flat by a forensically clean corridor, as soon as a route to the injured victim has been agreed with the CSM and SIO they will be instructed to clean it, a CSI will be responsible for taking photo along the route as they go further into the crime scene, the other personnel will recovering evidence that lies along the path route

In order to preserve a crime scene and potential evidence from any form of damage from mainly weather or peoples actions, there is an approach method that is used to keep physical evidence away from potential contamination or damage

Protective clothing is also important while being involved in this case, all CSIís entering into the crime scene must ensure that they are wearing overshoes, gloves, suits, face masks and head covers, these are requirements for health and safety of the scene examiner and their colleagues, it is part of† their PPE.

All specialist scene examinations will need to be carried out with the agreement of the SIO, when they are at the crime scene the CSM are responsible for their actions. Different specialists have different priorities at scenes. For example the use of archaeologists, they are requested to recover buried items or identifying individual layers of soil, they also have other specialised types which which will require guidance on how to approach an illegal drugs factory as well as the health and safety aspects of that scene. If the specialists need samples then it is preferred if the SOCO handles them instead of the specialists so at least the SOCO can recover the samples and record them on their sheets, then it will be as an exhibit

Fatal stabbing inside the victimís own home (block of flats)

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