examinations after the rest of the scene has been searched.
helps you to evaluate all objects of special interest in the light of all other
evidence found at the scene.
a. The collection of evidence at a crime scene is usually done after (1)
the photos have been taken, (2) the rough sketch has been finished; and (3) the
search has been completed. However, if there is fragile evidence that is being
significantly deteriorated by time or the elements, these have priority.
Otherwise, all visible items of evidence are examined, photographed, and
recorded as appropriate, taking them in the order that is most logical,
considering the requirement to conserve movement.
rule to observe is this: avoid touching or moving any evidence until it has
been properly photographed and sketched, its position measured, and pertinent
data recorded. Once evidence is handled, it can never be restored to its exact
original position. Evidence should be collected in a manner that will preserve
any latent characteristics.
It should be collected so as to prevent
destruction, alteration, or contamination.
Care must be used to ensure that
evidence is preserved in the same condition as when it was first found. For
example, all fragments of glass believed to be from a headlamp of a hit-and-run
suspect's car should be collected and forwarded to the lab. In other cases,
only a sample would be appropriate.
Appendix B offers a recommended way of
handling specific items of evidence that may be found at the scene.
c. Sometimes, during collection, you touch a piece of evidence in a way
which leaves your own fingerprints on it. If so, you should state this in your
notes. Inform the lab. Forward you own set of fingerprints in order for the
lab to make a proper determination.
This procedure is recommended where
fingerprints are involved or suspected on evidence.
d. Sometimes it may be necessary to damage or partially destroy an item.
You may be forced to decrease the effectiveness of an article in order to
collect important evidence. For instance, it may be necessary to cut fabric on
a piece of furniture to obtain a bloodstained area. You may have to cut out a
section of a wall for tool marks which cannot be obtained otherwise.
action may be taken upon approval of the supervisor. It may be done with or
without permission of the occupant only in case of government buildings. Then
it may be done only when determined that the action is necessary to the
investigation. However, it should be ensured that necessary steps are taken to
protect the contents of a building or room. Such would be the case if a door
or window has been removed.
e. The question always arises as to whether an object is or is not
evidence. You resolve this question by evaluating the object. Evaluate, also,
the circumstances and conditions at the scene. Support your decision with good
judgement, common sense, and past experience. If a doubt exists,