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NCJ Number: 73947 Find in a Library
Title: Reconstruction of Criminal Acts Through Clues Found at the Scene of the Crime?
Journal: Kriminalistik  Volume:31  Issue:7  Dated:(1977)  Pages:309-313
Author(s): H W VonSchmitz
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Problems connected with using a computer system to reconstruct crimes from data collected at the crime scenes and thus to compare methods of operation employed in different crimes are examined.
Abstract: Study data derive from 77 observations of crime scene analysis in five West German cities and from questionnaires administered to 198 police officers. Results indicate that the quality of the information collected is dependent on the extent of specific training and experience of officers on the scene. A good deal of potentially relevant information is lost because of patrol officers' failure to relate their observations to specialists who arrive later on the crime scene are the short time allotted for examination of the scene, the strong influence of damaged parties on the investigation, and the lack of a systematic approach to evidence collection. Typical mistakes of investigators are inadequate separation of observations and conclusions, and a lack of any guidelines for reconstruction of events leading to the crime. Crime reports reflect officers' lack of attention to the crime scene and failure of officers to understand the purpose of their reports or to describe their conclusions adequately. Problems of the computerized offense-offender system arise from inadequate starting information, unmotivated and untrained officers, and conceptual problems of the system. Despite shortcomings of the computer system, the documentation language does appear to encourage more complete information and uniformity in the categories of information collected. Notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Crime scene; Crime Scene Investigation; Criminal investigation; Criminal methods; Evidence collection; Germany; Police information systems; Program evaluation
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