What Are the Stages of a Criminal Investigation

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All of the stages of an investigation are important, but some are significantly more important than others. The first stage is instigation. This is where a crime is reported by either a member of the public, other agencies, links to past crimes or reinvestigation of past crimes. Information given should be recorded, retained and revealed to the officer investigating the crime. So that they can gather information from questioning the person that has recorded the crime, the office investigating it should be knowledgeable in investigative strategies. Instigation is important as it opens up the crime investigation.

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Afterwards is the preliminary and follow up investigation. During this, the first attending officer (the officer that attends the crime scene first) may be the only one necessary for the investigation. The officer first attending the scene shouldn’t think it can’t be solved or that someone else will do it at a later date. The officer, upon arriving, may have to deal with any violent situations, giving first aid and getting medical assistance, reassure victims/witnesses and making sure there isn’t public disorder). During the initial crime scene investigation, the scene should be identified and preserved, identify other sources of evidence, management of risk, any limitations to the attending officer’s role should be considered, communication, record keeping, handing over and briefing of the investigation, the impact on the community should be considered, people should be interviewed and an initial search should be made t look for exit and access routes for example. If a major crime has occurred, the officer’s priorities whilst waiting for assistance life preservation, scene preservation, securing evidence, victim identification and suspect identification. The initial investigation can be finished once a victim/witness statement is taken, any needs they may have are satisfied, examination of the scene has been instigated, fast track actions have been taken, records have been made and anything gathered should be submitted.

Standard Operating Procedures and Regulations

The standard operating procedures and regulations is important as it sets up what is required of the officers whilst investigating a crime. The first part is to arrive at the crime scene safely, and to make sure that it is safe for any officers examining the scene. Then, if required, medical assistance should be called, and if there are any, possible suspects should be apprehended. After that is to make sure the crime scene is secured, and then assistance can be called.

For the investigator, there is a slightly larger job requirement. First they need to assess and manage the scene before doing an initial documentation of it. They then need to canvass the area to look for possible evidence/witness/suspects. If there are any, they should detain them and interview them. Afterwards the scene needs processing, which means photographs and videos should be taken, the crime scene should be searched, and sketched, any latent fingerprints, trace evidence, fluids or fibres should be found and the evidence should be handled correctly and controlled.

Next is the gathering of evidence and evaluation of evidence. They can do this in many ways. One is Forensic gait analysis Forensic gait analysis is the analysis of how an individual walks. This is quite useful as it can help identify an individual on CCTV even if the picture of the face isn’t of the best quality. Even though it may help identify a suspect it may also misidentify someone innocent as a suspect if they have similar gaits.

Another one is CCTV. CCTV stands for closed-circuit television and it is useful as it can place an individual at a crime scene, possibly committing the crime hey have been suspected of. Even though it has positive points, it may not be the best quality, and other methods may have to be used, such as the Forensic gait analysis.

Another method would be Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES)

Another one is recorded 999 calls. In the 99 calls, useful information may be given, such as what's happened, or who did what. Even though it may give this information, it may offer as little information as possible.

Another method is biometric data, such as keystroke or typing recognition, speaker recognition, hand or finger geometry recognition or facial recognition. If fingerprints, faces or other things are on record, they can identify the person who they belong to with less difficulty if they didn't. However they may not have the perpetrator's biometric data on record.

A report that evaluates and compares methods of interviewing used to gain intelligence

The people you can get intelligence from is victims, suspects/ offenders and professional experts. When interviewing vulnerable people (the elderly, young, disabled and non-English speaking) they should have an advocate with them. This advocate could be a parent/guardian or a legal advisor.

The interviewers have to think about two things, dealing with the public and preparing the place where the interview is taking place. Examples of where it could take place is in the home or at the police station.

During the interview, they have to follow interview conduct, which is to tape record it and DVD record it. This is important as they can re-watch/listen to it again, and they might see something they have missed before, such as body language. I believe that DVD recording is better out of the two as it not only showing what they are saying, but it also shows their body language and what they do.

There are different types of evidence. Examples of evidence include corroborative, circumstantial, hearsay evidence and eyewitness testimony. Corroborative evidence is evidence to back another bit of evidence. Circumstantial evidence is facts which can be inferred. Hearsay evidence is not what the person knows themselves, but what they have heard from other people. Eye witness testimony is the testimony of someone who has witnessed an event themselves. The type of evidence which is best is eye witness testimony as they saw what was happening whilst the crime was taking place

Whilst interviewing, you need to make sure to follow the PEACE model. The PEACE model is planning and Preparation, engage and explain, account, clarification and challenge, closure and evaluation. Planning and preparing is writing down all known facts about the case and the witness/suspect, a possible timeline, aims of the interview, and questions that will be asked during the interview. Engage and explain is explaining to the person why they are being interviewed. Account, clarification and challenge is where an account of what happened is taken, and any inconsistencies is clarified and challenged. Closure is summarising what happened, and evaluation is where the person's answers and evaluated.

There are many things that affect a witness statement. For example, if they were not paying attention at the time, they may not have been aware of what was happening. Along with that they may perceive the event differently to what someone else might have, so their statements may not be similar. Reconstructive memory is where any absences of memory may be filled in to complete the memory. This is bad as it may not give the full account of what happened.

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