What is a crime scene? Crime scene means the place or the area where the crime such as burglary, larceny, homicide or murder, traffic crime or motor vehicle theft, etc. takes place. The scene is the central location toward which all evidence points before, during and after the crime.
Crime scene search is an action of the investigator consisting of his direct survey of the happening, collecting and protecting evidence to establish circumstances which are significant for the investigation. To observe and examine a crime scene properly is essential for quick and accurate crime solution. It is one of the most important sources of information concerning commission of the crime which enables the officer to answer with specific details the questions: What? Where? When? How? Why? Who? and What for?
The process of a crime scene search usually includes four stages: the preliminary, general observation, detailed search and final stages.
At the preliminary stage the investigator takes measures to detain any suspect or suspects, ensures crime scene protection, establishes eyewitnesses of the crime, prepares proper crime techniques, chooses and instructs witnesses, gets information of the happening. And of course he gives first aid to a victim if it's necessary or calls an ambulance. If the patrol officer happens to arrive at the crime scene first it is he who performs the most urgent preliminary crime scene search actions, i.e. detaining any suspect, providing aid to any victim, securing the crime scene, establishing eyewitnesses, summoning assistance if necessary.
At the stage of general observation the investigator is to observe the general appearance of the situation noting everything at the scene. To conduct a crime scene search properly the investigator reconstructs the happening, analyses the operational conditions, makes an estimate of the situation and develops and follows a definite way of doing his job. He makes a plan for the search and informs the participants of the search what and where to search minding not to destroy and overlook any valuable evidence. He also ensures taking pictures of the scene and its objects, making plaster casts of footprints and developing and taking fingerprints.
At the stage of detailed examination the investigator tries to answer a lot of different questions: Is it possible to identify the salient features of the criminal's modus operandi? What are these features? Where was the entrance to the scene? What approaches are there to the scene? What was the criminal's way of entering it? Are there any traces of criminal act, e. g. fingerprints, footmarks, blood stains on the objects? Whose prints are they? Was the criminal moving any objects from their positions? Was the evil-doer alone or in a company with another? Do they always work together? What were they going to do? What instruments do they usually use? What instruments was the criminal using in this case? Are there cigarette stubs or ashes? Does the criminal smoke cigars or cigarettes? Was he smoking at the crime scene? Who can it be? What are his distinctive marks? What is the most unusual feature of his appearance? How does he dress? What was strange in his actions? Why does he behave so strangely? The successful investigator does not forget to note negative facts: Why is the weapon absent? Why are there no fingerprints or blood stains when it is natural to find them? etc. The answers to all those and many other questions help the investigator to build a hypothesis of the crime commission.
At the final part of observation the investigator makes conclusions taking into consideration all available information, packs the traces of the crime for a crime laboratory, makes a record of the crime scene observation and if necessary brings the criminal action.
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2. Справочник по грамматике английского языка для юристов // Смирнова М.И. – Симферополь, 2016
3. Словари: англо-русский, русско-английский.