The practice of crime scene examination in an intelligence-based perspective

Authored by: Olivier Delémont , Sonja Bitzer , Manon Jendly , Olivier Ribaux

The Routledge International Handbook of Forensic Intelligence and Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138688216
eBook ISBN: 9781315541945
Adobe ISBN:


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Crime scene examination is often the starting point of a chain of forensic actions and analyses that are performed in a criminal investigation. It has, therefore, a pivotal role since it encompasses the search, detection and collection of the specimens on which the whole forensic machinery will further work. While the importance of this step has been widely recognized, it has received little consideration from the forensic community in terms of research and development or conceptualization, except for a recurring preoccupation with contamination avoidance and evidence preservation. In this chapter, we suggest that, despite a variety of practices in crime scene examination, inherent to the legal, managerial and social contexts in which they take place, crime scene examination relies on actionable knowledge and is actually rooted in an intelligence-based practice. We claim that a formal framework breaking down different dimensions of knowledge may support the wider acknowledgement of the multifaceted contribution of intelligence to crime scene investigation. This formalization also highlights the benefits of a combined understanding of and expertise in forensic and criminological issues for crime scene processing, and serves as a basis for discussions about possible pitfalls and future challenges.

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