Introduction to Crime Scenes

From the second a crime is committed traces of the crime are left in the environment the location where a crime took place can be full of physical evidence which can link the crime to the criminal and ultimately assist the police in their investigation this location is known as the crime scene crime scenes can be anywhere indoors outdoors at business premises domestic dwellings or vehicles and no two are ever the same the work of a crime scene investigator or CSI is a key part of processing a crime and obtaining evidence for this reason alone the skills they need and the procedures they follow our vital importance for a CSI even enters a crime scene they need a four set of appropriate protective clothing the full crime scene suit sometimes called a bunny suit consists of boot covers gloves the hood and a mouth guard this clothing will protect the CSI and ensure they do not contaminate the crime scene crime scenes often occur outside and a police officer is usually the first person at the scene however the police officer should not disturb the crime scene and should instead set up a cordon

protect the evidence contained within when the crime scene investigator enters the crime scene they will use the common approach path this is the path from the edge of the cordon to the focal point of the crime scene and in most cases stepping plates will be used along this path to preserve the evidence when available these stepping plates should be used at all times a CSI job is to both accurately document and process the crime scene documenting the scene involves taking photographs of the crime scene of exhibits and taking notes documenting the crime scene will continue as they start to collect the evidence as the crime scene is processed the CSI has to be very conscious of environmental factors which may compromise the evidence this is especially important in outside crime scenes as factors such as rain snow and strong wind can mean the need to collect the evidence faster than normal or erect temporary structures to protect the evidence crime scene may also need to be protected if it’s near a public area where the media or passers-by can see it time of day can also play a major role in how a crime scene is processed in some instances it may be advisable to preserve the scene until natural light is available however in many cases temporary high powered lighting rigs and powerful torches can be used to process the scene indoor crime scenes have their own set of issues whether it’s a business poverty or a domestic dwelling in indoor crime scenes such as burglary the CSI may have to speak to a victim of crime in such cases they should be empathetic and have good communication skills they must also be considerate of personal environments and balance the respect for someone’s property with a need for a thorough scientific examination in more serious crimes it may be necessary the CSI to remove objects and furnishings from the property another common crime scene is vehicle crime these are processed like any other crime scene however in less serious crimes such as car theft the CSI will focus their efforts on the point of entry such as a broken window in more serious crimes the car can be fully stripped to look revenants this would include lifting the carpets taping the upholstery and analyzing the lists for trace forensic evidence as you can see crime scenes are very varied and take place in a wide range of locations however they do have a number of basic principles in common including Corden’s common approach paths and the systematic recovering collection of evidence the crime scene investigator has a key role in documenting the crime scene and collecting the physical evidence left during a crime