Criminal Investigation Discussion Boards Q1.

Criminal Investigation Discussion Boards Q1.

CriminalInvestigation Discussion Boards


Aninvestigator is a person who gathers information, documents, andevaluates evidence. He or she establishes whether a crime occurred,identifies, and apprehends suspects, and help in prosecution of thesuspect. According to Swanson, Chamelin, Territo, and Taylor (2012) agood investigator should possess essential qualities such as strongethics, good communication skills, and resourcefulness. Besides, heshould have strong professional training, solid experience, and useboth deductive and inductive reasoning.

Amongthe above qualities, strong ethics is the most importance quality ofan investigator when investigating a crime. An investigator withstrong ethics is ethical, honest, and law abiding. Under normalcircumstances, the security, job, and the lives of people givinginvestigative stories are at risk especially if there are recklessaccusations. Therefore, a good investigator should have a strong,explicitly personal ethic to ensure the subjects and the sources aretreated respectfully, as well protected from any harm. Swanson, (2012) also urges that the newsroom where investigative storiesare given opt to be guided by ethical codes and trust. Ifinvestigators use unethical methods of investigation, they lose theirjob credibility. In addition, if the case goes to court, the evidenceis not enough hence, the suspect may not be convicted.

Apartfrom the qualities that Swanson discusses, another quality of a goodinvestigator is a well-developed reporting skill. However, this doesnot mean that they should study journalism, but they should haveexperience on how to identify crime source, conduct interviews, plana storyline research, and write informatively and accurately.


Atthe crime scene, there are three functions of investigation. Thefirst function is the overall coordination of the scene. The seniorinvestigator vests the crime scene, and gives instructions to otherinvestigators on what to do (Swansonet. al., 2012).The case agent coordinates all activities, and has the power to callin additional resources. The second function is the technicalservices. The representative from the central crime laboratorydepartment, crime scene processing unit, and any other subordinatespecialist assigned by the senior investigator to the scene carry outthis function. The third function is the investigative services. Thisincludes conducting and documenting canvass, interviewing witnessesand victims, suspect’s field interrogation, and recording theresults.

Thecategories of crime scene supplies and equipments include fingerprintequipment, casting equipment, photographic equipment,evidence-packaging supplies, blood collection supplies, deceasedprint kit, hand tools, biohazard kit, and miscellaneous equipment(Swansonet. al., 2012).Photographic equipments are very important at crime scene. The kitcontains the following items camera, lens, film, flash, measuringdevices, and filters.

  1. Camera

Thecameras should be 35mm with adjustable controls or a high qualitydigital camera. They should have extra batteries, a flash, andtripod. If the cameras are non-digital or digital, they should haveextra film and flash memory cards respectively. Digital cameras withan image sensor, manual exposure setting, and ten megapixel, orhigher, are the most suitable for evidence photography.

  1. Normal lens

Normallens are the best for clean and clear photographs. For 35mm camera, a50mm lens works effectively. The lens should have a wide angle of28mm at maximum for a 35mm camera. Since normal lens are not suitablefor closer objects, close-up lens are also necessary.

  1. Film

Thefilm should be colour and black and white film with adequate supply.

  1. Flash

Flashshould be compatible with the cameras and have a pc cord of 6-10 fts.Flash light are useful in dark areas, as well when previewinglighting. Shining the light on evidence gives accurate position of aflash.

  1. Measuring devices

Examplesof measuring devices include a ruler, tape measure, and scalemeasure.

  1. Filters

Apolarising filter is necessary when photographing through water andglass. In addition, coloured filters are also essential whenphotographing with black and white film.


Typesof physical evidence include latent print evidence (fingerprints,palm prints, and footprints), biological evidence (blood, hair, bodyfluids, and other tissues), footwear and tire prints evidence, traceevidence (fibres, soil, vegetation, pollen, and glass fragments),tool, and tool marks evidence. I find latent print evidence to be themost interesting physical evidence. Biologically, every person has aunique fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints. According toSwansonet. al.,(2012), this also applies to identical twins with identical DNA theyalso do not have same prints. This uniqueness of prints allowsfingerprints to be used for biometric security, background checks,mass disaster identification, and in criminal investigations.Worldwide, fingerprints are recognised and accepted as a reliableidentification means. For the last one hundred years, law enforcershave used fingerprints analysis to identify criminals and solvecrimes. Nowadays, use of fingerprints in criminal investigation isbecoming popular because it is possible to send prints digitally toany part of the world and produce them visually. Forensic believesthat whenever a person touches an object with bare hands, they leavefingerprints on the surface of that object (Swansonet. al., 2012).Up to date, fingerprints analysis remains a precious tool for lawenforcers. The investigators can use fingerprints to link two crimesthat involve one person. Besides, they use them track criminalrecords, previous convictions and arrests, as well as use theinformation in sentencing, parole, probation, and making pardoningdecisions. The investigators capture the prints by either by rollingfingers in the ink or digitally scanning them then, they analysetheir unique characteristics to identify with one individual.


Swanson,C. R., Chamelin, N. C., Territo, L., &amp Taylor, R. W. (2012).Criminal investigation (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.