Crime Scene Investigation Unit
A systematic approach to evidence collection becomes more critical as modern forensic science advances. Such an approach can help to ensure that the evidence collected meets the rigorous standards necessary for evidence to be introduced into court. Proper crime scene investigation process is critical for the admissibility of evidence in the court. Despite different types of offences, (homicide, burglary, rape, fire, shooting, bomb blast etc.) general approach and procedures of crime scene management and processing may be applied.
At a place of incidence, many of the professionals who actually have to take part in handling the scene within their own domains, may rush to the place of incidence including First Responders, Medical Professionals, Rescue workers, Bomb Disposal Personnel, Crime Scene Specialists, Forensic Experts and Investigation Officers. Besides these professional, others may also be present including Victim(s), Suspect(s), Witnesses, Neighbors/Relatives, Curious Public, Media, Senior Police Officials, Higher Administration and Politicians. Every stakeholder, therefore, must know their respective responsibilities and should adhere to but not interrupt in the duties of their co-professionals. A small mistake at the scene may lead to irreversible damage to the scene and evidence present at site.
Evidence present at the crime scene are “silent witnesses” of the sequence of events occurred and these “silent witnesses” tell the whole story when “interrogated” by the forensic expert inside the lab. However, the key point is handling, packaging, preservation, storage and transportation of physical evidence. The crime scene specialist should ensure the integrity of evidence when transporting it to the lab. Crime Scene processing & management is a tedious and cumbersome task which requires complete presence of mind, attention, skills and experience. It’s a team work and every member of the team is assigned specific task to perform. The team may consist of but not limited to the following members: Crime Scene Expert/team leader, Evidence technician, photographer, draftsman for sketching and any forensic expert wherever required.
Crime Scene Investigation Unit at NFSA was established in 2013 comprising of three skilled Crime Scene Specialists with a photographer. Later on, an evidence technician was inducted and now the team consists of five members. Furthermore, six police officials from AJK Police are on attachment who are trained in crime scene processing skills and are ready for crime scene services on part of NFSA.
Crime Scene Specialist Responsibilities
The Crime Scene Specialist conducts technical inspection of all types of crime scenes; duties include:
- Visually and physically examines and inspects all types of crime scenes for the recognition, collection and preservation of physical evidence such as latent fingerprints, shoe prints and tire tracks, body fluids (blood, semen and saliva), hair and fibres, weapons etc.
- Evaluation of Evidences at the crime scene (primary crime scene survey).
- Conduct the scene of the crime operations (documentation) which include among others the narrative description of the crime scene, photography, videography, crime scene search, crime scene sketch, crime scene location sketch, physical evidence recording, collection and transportation of physical evidence from the crime scene to the lab
- Perform presumptive tests, various chemicals, powders, compounds and casting materials used in a photographic and/or forensic laboratory, preserving techniques as required.
- Arrange photographs of various types of crime scenes and evidence as well as post-mortem examinations and death scenes.
- Conduct interviews of victim(s), suspect(s) and witnesses.
- To maintain chain of custody and integrity of the evidences.
- To testify in court in connection to scenes processed and evidence collected and preserved.
The CSI Unit of NFSA is fully functional and equipped with latest tools/kits to conduct different types of crime scenes including, murder, homicide, suicide, robbery, burglary and bomb blast cases by applying standard procedures to process the crime scene (Photography, Sketching, Documentation, Audio/Video Recording), Collect physical evidences (Biological Evidence, Trace Evidence, Impression Evidence), Packaging/Sealing of evidence and maintain Chain of Custody.
- Automobile Crash Investigation
- Blood Spatter Analysis
- Development and lifting of fingerprints, footprints and shoe prints
- Death Scene Investigation
- Shooting Scene Reconstruction
- Crime Scene Reconstruction