What is Evidence Collection?
Evidence collection is defined as – the process of retrieving items, materials, data and photographs from a crime scene “as-is” and without damaging or altering it in the process.
Types of Evidence
The types of evidence that investigators collect at a crime scene will depend on the type of crime that was committed. Different categories and examples include:
- Biological – Types of biological evidence include hair, bodily fluids such as saliva or semen, and body tissues such as skin, fingernails, etc.
- Prints – Types of prints that may be collected include fingerprints, footprints, hand prints, mouth prints and others
- Ballistics – Evidence associated with firearms, include the firearms themselves, gun residue, bullet casings, bullet holes.
- Digital – Phone records, text messages, call logs, internet history, keystrokes, etc.
- Physical – Physical items such as weapons, clothing, or other things that were left behind.
A Private Investigator’s Role
Although evidence is primarily collected by police officers and crime scene forensic specialists and related technicians, private investigators may visit the crime scene after the fact in an attempt to gather new or different evidence for their clients.
During this type of investigation, it is critical that private investigators have an understanding of proper evidence collection, preservation and analysis procedures. There are a number of great books on the subject that can be used to augment your on-the-job training, or formal education.
List of Evidence Collection Books
The following books can help serve as a great resource to help private eyes learn about the general process, proper procedures, and applicable laws of collecting objects and information related to a crime. Private investigators can use these books to learn:
- Proper procedures for collecting forensic evidence and data from the scene of the crime
- How to separate what is useful from what is not
- How to take crime scene photographs and video like the pros
- How to correctly store, preserve and protect evidence from contamination
- How to examine and analyze the objects and information and draw conclusions about what happened during the crime
- How evidence is presented in a court of law to support conclusions or theories
Evidence Collection – Handbook
The Evidence Collection handbook is designed to serve as a quick reference guide on the effective procedures for the collection, preservation, and transmittal of evidence for examination, analysis, and presentation at the time of prosecution. This is an excellent handbook to be used by P.I.’s as a quick reference guide for learning the right way to collect forensic materials from a crime scene. We recommend adding it to your reference library.
Forensic Investigation Handbook: An Introduction To The Collection, Preservation, Analysis, And Presentation Of Evidence
The Forensic Investigation Handbook provides an overview of the process and procedures involved in collecting, securing, preserving and analyzing evidence from a crime scene.
This handbook is a great guide for forensic investigators, private investigators and police officers or anyone involved in conducting crime scene investigations.
Questions and Comments
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