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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220841 
Title: Model of Investigation (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 407-425, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds. -- See NCJ-220829)
Author(s): David Carson
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This chapter critiques the current model of criminal investigations in England and Wales and proposes an alternative model that is more likely to avoid both wrongful convictions and wrongful acquittals.
Abstract: The current model for police investigations is to collect and analyze evidence to the point when case investigators decide upon a prime suspect. The investigation then focuses only on the evidence that confirms investigators' decision about who committed the crime. This model for criminal investigations is concerned with efficiency, i.e., clearing a case in a relatively short time with as few resources as possible. This model, however, tends to inhibit a thorough collection of evidence, promote a premature focus on one suspect, and increase the risk for a wrongful conviction. This chapter proposes an alternative investigative model that it describes as "audit." Such an investigative approach would focus on the quality of the fact-finding processes, the quality of the resulting evidence, and the manner in which hypotheses about the case are derived and rigorously tested. Such a model reflects a scientific approach to investigations. This approach emphasizes a thorough and proper collection of evidence, its appropriate management and preservation, and accurate analysis. Based on such evidence, alternative explanations for all the evidence will then be constructed and objectively assessed for comparative reasonableness as explanations for the evidence. Only after all available evidence has been properly collected, analyzed, and tested for explanations under alternative hypotheses should a decision be made about whether to make an arrest. 62 references
Main Term(s): Police management
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation overview; Criminal investigation training; Foreign police; Investigative techniques
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