Set of guidelines on conducting preliminary investigation for a criminal case
Preliminaryinvestigation of criminal cases is inquiry that is conducted byrepresentative s of law enforcement, to gather information inallegations. The inquiry that is conducted has two main functions: todetermine if the crime had already been committed and also to confirmidentity of the suspect or identify the suspect[ CITATION Chu11 l 1033 ]ss.Information that has been gathered through the inquiry will giveinformation on the nature of the crime, and therefore direct actionsof the law enforcement representatives on whether a formal accusationwill be made, or full investigation carried out or a trial done. Thepreliminary investigation set of guidelines is to come up withpolicies that are consistent in specific cases. The guidelinesencourage agents to do their work with all confidence to ensureeffectiveness. The investigation process has these three maincomponents: physical evidence, interviewing and interrogation[ CITATION Hom13 l 1033 ].Thereare three stages in the scene of crime, these are: the initial crimescene stage recognition of the crime scene and finally potentialsuspect and the witnesses suspect. Investigation follows a procedureand it is only individual with police powers who will conduct theseinvestigations. The investigators will dully question criminals,produce warrants legally and report matters concerning the crime tocrime department.
Strategy for the crime investigators to use in a preliminary homicide investigation includes the following stages:
Professionalinvestigators can influence how successful they will be indetermining the case by applying the basic proven traditionalinvestigative methods that have always been used by enforcementagencies and forensic science that has influenced the guidelines[ CITATION Hom13 l 1033 ].
Beforethe investigator arrives at the scene, they need to give instructionsto the patrol officers at the scene to preserve crime scene hold anywitnesses or suspects avoid using any phones which were located inthe scene of crime, account for all activities taking place in thecrime scene as well all people who accessed the scene at the time ofthe crime, and anyone else who is still in the scene even around thetime that the police arrive if there are any vehicle around andwithin the scene, the officers need to record every information aboutthem, most importantly the license plate number.
Suspiciousdeaths and murders require established protocols that will try topreserve the scene as it is, and preserve integrity of evidence.First officer will begin the preliminary investigation and give wayto the investigator once they arrive[ CITATION Rod15 l 1033 ].It is important that they are keen to every detail on the scene ofcrime, they need to scrutinize the entire area within the scene aswell as surrounding areas as any little information can be vital tothe casethat may be built, or further investigation that may be done.
Uponarrival the detective will ascertain boundaries, and not move aroundblindly into the area, they first need to confer prior to acting.
Thedetective needs to consider their approach to the scene, how andwhere their entry will be as well as the exit.
Afterconferring with the first officer and or detective on the scene, theyneed to conduct their own initial survey, and try to create a mentalimage using the information and objects at the scene[ CITATION Hom12 l 1033 ].
Theinvestigator needs to reconcile everything at the beginning so thatthey can set pace for the entire investigation. The investigator hasto use all evidence in sight, information from any cross-examinationand the initial officer, and begin on the leads that are apparent atthe time. This is important for the case as the initial informationwill always guide the rest of the investigation.
Investigatorrecords in his notebook: description of the surrounding the deadbody, the sex, age, appearance, hair color and build evidence of anyinjury and its nature blood of color if any whether brown or red soas to approximate time of incident any weapons or wound record anyjewelry on the body, if there is none then a negative notation shouldbe made, as the criminal might have tried to divert attention andmake the crime look like mugging If the crime occurred in the house,then position of the body in the room in relation to the articlessuch as door, furniture or windows need to be established[ CITATION Rod15 l 1033 ].Anyweapons should not be moved or touched, the fired shells and bulletholes need not be touched, and fired shells should at no time bemoved if any.
Characteristic of effective criminal investigator and importance of each characteristic
Analyticalmindset: the investigator needs to be curious the case needs to belooked at from different angles in order to establish the right leadson the case[ CITATION Chu11 l 1033 ].
Avoidgroupthink: A good investigator does not promote one theory overothers this will cause errors which should be avoided. Groupthink islikely to happen when the investigator gets fatigued and seek a wayout.
Goodcommunication skills: the investigator will have to deal withwitnesses and suspects and this involves a lot of communication[ CITATION Hom12 l 1033 ].The investigator needs to get all the information they can from themand therefore their listening and talking needs to be precise so thatthey can get all the information.
Flexible:this line of work is very demanding and the detective needs to beavailable throughout, so that they do not miss any moment and chanceto complete the investigation fully.
Integrity:a good investigator needs to avoid strong and wrong convictions theyhave to use all strategies and tools in their disposal in the rightway. And do the right thing always. They need to be just and fair andseek for justice rather than just wanting to finish a case[ CITATION Hom13 l 1033 ].
TheFBI uniform crime reporting program, classifies crimes into two, partI offenses, and part II offenses. Part I offenses are major crimeslike murder, robbery, burglary, reporting crime is good for thecitizens also as they get to know what is going on, and it also helpsto make social policies. Reporting assault and homicide will warrantdifferent procedures, although the preliminary investigation will besimilar. In the assault the individual who was assaulted will givetheir accounts and help in the investigation. They will press chargesor not, if they do then they will testify in court and help toconvict the perpetrator. In the murder case the report will be quitedifferent, the incident will most likely be gotten by chance of noone reports[ CITATION Rod15 l 1033 ].The investigators then embark on finding the perpetrator andconvicting them if they finally do.
Criminal investigation should maintain balance regarding freedom of information media outlets and privacy rights of alleged perpetrators of crime:
Investigationsare usually kept out of the media, as giving too much information maydisrupt the investigation. The media can be used however to giveinformation to the public on dangers they may be in, if theperpetrator may be at large. Showing pictures of assailant throughmedia can help the investigation as the public may feel obliged toreport if they see the perpetrator.
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