Documenting a Crime Scene
Week 3 Individual Work
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As a crime scene investigator, you have many responsibilities. Documenting the scene is one task that is extremely important. Without proper documentation, important evidence could become non-admissible and may result in the case being unsolved or dropped without conviction. Documentation is made by sketches, photography, and taking detailed notes.
Notes are brief records of what is seen and/or heard. Most people think taking notes is an unnecessary and boring task but in all honesty nothing is more important. Detailed notes can make or break a case. It is important to remember when and where to take notes as well as how and what to take notes on. Be aware of your surroundings when deciding when to take notes. Some people are excited and willing to let you take notes right away. In other cases, people are more skeptical and reluctant to talk when you are taking notes. It is important to use good judgment and decide the proper time. If a witness is willing to give exact wording, ensure the individual initials that section of the notes. In court it will help avoid miscommunication and possible later claims they did not make the statement. Take notes on everything you do during the investigation. Asking yourself questions is helpful when deciding what to take notes on. Some key questions to keep in mind are who, what, when, where, why and how. Making note of everything is key information during the investigation to ensure everything was done properly and all aspects are in the case file. No information is too little to be considered including weather conditions, evidence, and all services rendered including first aid. The easiest method to keep your notes is in a spiral or loose-leaf notebook. Writing brief, legible, abbreviated notes that others can understand is crucial. You want to be sure to exclude words like “and,” “the,” or “a.” In addition to...