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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74894 Find in a Library
Title: Practical Pointers for Investigators
Journal: Security Management  Volume:25  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:28,31-32,34
Author(s): F C Stilson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Suggestions for preparing crime scene notes, sketches, and photographs which would be admissible in court are presented for professional security personnel.
Abstract: Notetaking is described as a continuous process in which all aspects of the investigation must be recorded. Each page of the notes should bear the investigator's name, case control number, and date in the upper right hand corner; each page should be numbered. The time at which each entry is made should be recorded in a column to the side, and the following types of entries should be included: details of the initial notification, verification of the scene as that given in the original notification, initial observations of the scene, observations of the condition of the victim, the coroner's arrival (in cases involving death), and the official time of death. An overall observation of the crime scene should be followed by information on photographs taken and sketches made. The collection of evidence is then recorded as is the rechecking of the scene, the release of other officials, and the investigator's departure from the scene. After the investigator has left the scene, no other entries should be made. The notes should be in ink and unedited; mistakes should be lined out. To be admissible in court, the notes must pass four tests: the entries must have been made at about the time of the event; they must represent the investigator's personal observations; they must be made as part of a series of events; and they must be original. Moreover, sketches should show exact distances and true relationships between objects. The original sketch must always remain in the case report. Details of entries are described, and sample sketches are provided. A reference list is not included.
Index Term(s): Crime scene; Crime Scene Investigation; Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Photography; Police reports; Rules of evidence
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