skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 203826 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Metal Detectors at the Crime Scene
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:12  Dated:December 2003  Pages:78-81
Author(s): Eugene Nielsen
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes various types of metal detectors and how they may be used at various types of crime scenes to locate metallic evidence.
Abstract: Automatic Very Low Frequency (VLF) ground canceling metal detectors have proven to be the best all-around choice for ground (land) searches in law enforcement applications. This is because of their ease of use and sensitivity. They automatically tune themselves to the characteristics of the ground being searched (automatic ground canceling). Although the VLF detector must be kept in motion to detect a metal object, very little motion is required for most of the VLF detectors. For extremely deep searching for large objects on land, specialized metal detectors known as "two-box" metal detectors may be used. A large object such as an automobile may be detected as deep as 20 feet. Detectors manufactured for underwater use are specially designed to allow the entire metal detector, including the control housing, to be completely submersible. Some detectors may be submerged to several hundred feet or more. Pulse induction metal detectors for underwater searching ignore black sand and salt water, which can affect the sensitivity of some types of metal detectors. All automatic VLF ground canceling metal detectors and a few pulse induction metal detectors have the capability of selectively eliminating undesirable objects from detection. This article discusses the factors that affect detection depth and coverage, the importance of using the appropriately sized searchcoil when processing a crime scene, the selection of a metal detector, the role of metal detectors at crime scenes in relation to other methods of detecting evidence, and training in the use of metal detectors.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Crime scene; Crime Scene Investigation; Evidence collection; Metal detection; Metal detection devices
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.