While it is important that all evidence be recorded accurately, it is
particularly important that notes be accurate.
Notes should contain a concise
account of what the investigator saw.
Also included is an account of the
investigative method used and its phases. Some of the basic principles of taking
notes include the following:
Print or write legibly.
Use ink, if possible.
Identify each page with the following information:
Case number (when known).
Use short phrases.
Do not use single words or shorthand.
The information may not be meaningful
at a later date.
Notes should not be edited or erased. If a mistake is made, the entry should
be lined out, initialed, and rewritten.
Notes should include a detailed description of any item considered to be pertinent
to the investigation. The guidelines listed above should be followed as closely as
possible to avoid unnecessary confusion when recording evidence.
Notes can be entered into the court proceedings as evidence.
They are used to
refresh the investigator's memory. They can become a guide to a new investigator
assigned to the case.
Sketches. Another method of recording crime scene evidence is by making a sketch
of the scene.
Sketches of the scene are made to properly place all evidence.
All items that will help the investigator reconstruct the scene should be included
in the sketch. Rough sketches done at the scene of the crime are redrawn into a
finished sketch suitable for presentation in court.
The MP investigator should
verify the sketch for accuracy. Sketches must be identified by--