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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98179 Find in a Library
Title: Community Group Assistance to Criminal Investigations (From Neighborhood Based Arson Control - Collected Papers, P 78-86, 1985 - See NCJ-98175)
Author(s): J Murphy; M Friedland
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Ways that citizens can assist the police in investigating arsons that have occurred in their neighborhoods include providing information on the fired building's condition prior to the fire and researching public records to obtain such facts as building ownership and recorded code violations.
Abstract: Community crime prevention organizations and other community groups can be instrumental in encouraging witnesses to speak to investigators and in providing arson investigators with the names and addresses of persons familiar with the building's condition prior to the fire. They can research public records to determine the ownership of a fired building, building code violations, and any legal action being taken against either the owner or occupants. Community residents also can alert authorities to the existence of buildings that are vacant and frequently used by 'street' people and drug abusers and press for action to seal up these buildings. Citizen research should be presented to the appropriate authorities in an organized and thorough report, and community organizations and residents should avoid assuming the role of the investigator. All efforts should be undertaken in cooperation with and under the guidance of the police investigator, and, during investigations, these groups must be aware of the parameters of criminal justice proceedings, particularly concerning confidentiality and sufficient evidence to prove culpability beyond a reasonable doubt.
Index Term(s): Arson investigations; Community involvement; Police-citizen interactions
Note: For microfiche, see NCJ-098175.
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