One of the most critical aspects of the investigation of crimes is the management of the crime scene. Through the managing of the crime scene, I can ensure the availability of evidence and efficacy of the forensic tests as the investigation proceeds (Fish, Miller, Braswell & Wallace Jr, 2013). A crime scene manager must ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to preserve the scene and the evidence collected. The packaging of all the evidence collected and removed from the scene of crime must be done in a manner that avoids harm to the investigator and prevents contaminating the evidence. It is essential that few people as possible get access to the crime scene and the questions asked are investigative. Evidence emanating from the crime scene show the picture of the events which will aid the courts in decision making (Trojan & Salfati, 2008, 125; Adjorlolo & Chan, 2017, 119). This image portrayed to the court is composed of physical exhibits, expert analysis of the exhibits, photographs from the crime scene, testimonies from witnesses, and the overall review of the crime scene itself (Robinson, 2016; Ludwig, Edgar, and Maguire, 2014, 76).
Initial Steps in Crime Scene Management: 1. Taking Notes and Collecting Samples
For crime scene management, taking notes has been identified by experts as being critical for investigations and the corresponding testimony by the investigator (Wyatt, 2014, 445). The notebook is usually analyzed by the court to ensure consistency with the statement by the investigator and thus offer a circumstantial assurance of truthfulness and accuracy of the evidence. Therefore, notes of the crime scene should be carefully taken describing what is observed and what steps are taken to investigate it further. On arriving at the crime scene, I would take the necessary steps to ensure its integrity is protected and preserved. This steps will entail using the STAIR tool tasks. STAIR tool tasks are those done to help in the identification, collection, preservation, and protection of evidence to ascertain its acceptance in courts of law (Byard & Payne, 2015; Baber, 2017, 47). These tasks comprise the lockdown of the scene, setting up perimeters, establishing contamination path and securing the crime scene (Sutton, Trueman & Moran, 2016).
2. Protection of Crime Scene and Samples Preservation
The foremost priority is to protect the safety and life of the people. Protection of the evidence and the crime scene will hence become secondary. Therefore, a lockdown of the crime scene is the first step taken (Fisher B. & Fisher D., 2003; Salfati & Dupont, 2006, 118). First responders and the witness who have had access to the crime scene must move to a distance away (Dirkmaat, 2014). All activities at the scene would halt and a physical barrier placed around the perimeter. These activities ensure the crime scene is isolated from the public (Adjorlolo & Chan, 2017, 123; Millen, 2000, 125).
3. Prevention of Unauthorized Personnel at Crime Scene
The perimeter of the crime scene surround the area depending on the field the suspect, and the victim have interacted in, and both the entry and the exit to the area. This perimeter can also be several areas in cases where the crime occurred in a wide area that is spread out. The scene may also include pre-crime and post-crime area of activity around the wooded area (Ludwig, Fraser, 2014, 81). After the establishment of the perimeter, it becomes necessary to restrict unauthorized persons from having access. I would ensure that only one point of entry is allowed which should be at the path of contamination (Warren et al., 1998, 35; Sutton, Trueman & Moran, 2016; Bulbul, Yavuzcan & Ozel, 2013, 245).
4. Prevention of Sample Contamination and Crime Scene
Since contamination of the crime scene is unavoidable, all contaminations must be recorded and controlled to ensure the integrity of the crime scene. Each person's contamination to the crime scene is documented detailing what the person touched or moved, and the same must be explained (Baber, 2017, 48). I will ensure the designation of a pathway where the authorized individual will enter and exit the crime scene. Before the establishment of the path, one must take photos of the proposed area (Robinson, 2016). Investigators will, therefore, follow this path at all times unless when collecting evidence material. The path must allow the investigator to view the whole crime scene. Recording of contaminations is essential as they occur with each person required to explain the departure from the path (Sutton, Trueman & Moran, 2016).
5. Use of qualified Experts to Collect Important Samples
At all times, I would also ensure the crime scene as defined by the perimeter tape is secured. This security will ensure that unauthorized individuals are kept at bay. Police officers will be placed in strategic locations to provide security and allowing-in only those pre-authorized such as forensic specialists, pre-assigned investigators, and the coroner (Ludwig, Fraser, 2014, 88). Every person entering or exiting the scene is recorded and the time of entry and exit noted down in a "Crime Scene Security Log." If an unauthorized person tries to enter or enters the crime scene, the officer should challenge the person and could even arrest the person for obstructing justice (Houck, Crispino, and McAdam, 2017; Santtila et al., 2001, 363).
Evidence management is also a vital aspect of crime scene management. A system would be put in place to ensure evidence is gathered appropriately and is acceptable in court. Contamination should be minimized as much as possible (Sutton, Trueman & Moran, 2016; O'Hara C. & O'Hara G., 1996, 99). Also, all protocols for protection of evidence would be properly established and maintained to enable tracking of proof all the way to the courtroom. It is therefore vital for me to ensure the creation of a field sketch and a diagram of the crime scene indicating where each evidence was obtained (Four & Six, 2015). Evidence log and witness statements must be appropriately recorded right from the crime scene (Bulbul, Yavuzcan & Ozel, 2013, 246).
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