On the scene

Crime scene examination is painstaking work that requires thoroughness and attention to detail. There are four stages in crime scene examination which are:-

  • Visual examination – this enables the crime scene examiner to decide how he/she will approach this task and what the priorities are depending upon a range of circumstances within the scene.

  • Photographing the scene – this is done when the crime is serious, or if a photographic record can provide information that will assist the enquiry. Photographs are taken of the crime scene and any evidence relating to the offence.

  • Forensic examination – this is carried out once the scene has been recorded and an evidence recovery plan established. Crime scene investigators are evidence gatherers. Much of the forensic evidence found at crime scenes is packaged and forwarded to a a Forensic Science Service Provider (FSSP) for analysis.

  • Fingerprint examination – this is the final task carried out by the CSI. Fingerprinting a scene can potentially contaminate other evidence types so for this reason it is generally left until last. Finger marks found at a crime scene are forwarded to the force's Fingerprint Bureau for processing and searching. 

Crime scene investigation