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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72867 Find in a Library
Title: Combating Arson-For-Profit - Advanced Techniques for Investigators
Author(s): D J Icove; V B Wherry; J D Schroeder
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 103
Sponsoring Agency: Van Nostrand Reinhold
Florence, KY 41042
Sale Source: Van Nostrand Reinhold
7625 Empire Drive
Florence, KY 41042
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This step by step guide provides a model for structuring investigations of arson-for-profit cases, with emphasis on planning, coordination, and scrupulous attention to records and details. An actual case history shows how the comprehensive approach can be applied successfully.
Abstract: Arson-for-profit, one of the nation's fastest growing and most costly crimes, has had an extremely low conviction rate. One of the major reasons for the inadequate law enforcement response has been absence of planning, training, and field operations material available use in arson investigations. The use of coordinated arson task forces spanning local, State and Federal agencies has been effective in controlling incendiary crime where other efforts have failed. Five major steps are required for conducting a comprehensive arson-for-profit investigation: fire scene investigation, assessment of investigative needs, formulation and evaluation of a strategic plan, implementation of that plan, and presentation of formal investigation reports to the prosecutor. Success depends heavily upon documentary evidence (business, financial, and insurance records), which may be obtained through subpoenas, search warrants, or court orders. Once obtained, the documentary evidence must be summarized, analyzed, and cross-referenced, then stored securely until the trial. Advanced investigative techniques of use in arson investigations include investigative flowcharting, consensual monitoring, link analysis, incendiary crime analysis, and computer-assisted arson investigation. Applicable Federal and State statutes and an example of an arson investigation illustrating the procedures outlined are included. Several tools are provided for investigators, such as forms for use in investigation and prosecution, a documentary evidence log, a grand jury summary, suggested news release forms, sample consensual monitoring forms, and investigation flow charts and symbol explanations. References accompany the text by chapter. A total of 10 tables and 17 figures are also included.
Index Term(s): Arson; Crime Scene Investigation; Criminal investigation; Evidence identification; Evidence preservation
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