23 May 2013

Focus on... Crime Scene Investigation - 'you have to detach yourself from the reality'

Crime Scene Investigator

Phill Pemble

Afternoon all.  Here is another snapshot of the daily work of a CSI. 

I went back to the scene I had left the day before (if you remember, it was an allegation of rape) and took more pictures as the light was much better.

With no more jobs on the work-list I submitted evidence from previous jobs to the lab. I had managed to obtain DNA from clothing of a recent assault victim so I sent that in for analysis. I also sent off some plants that had been recovered from a scene to confirm that they were in fact cannabis and to calculate the potential street value – something that can affect the length of sentence given to drug dealers/producers. I also submitted syringes and other drug paraphernalia for DNA examination. 

Evidence submission came to an abrupt stop when I was asked to attend a burglary scene. A garage at a house had been broken into with an item stolen. Despite searching I could not find any forensic evidence but I spoke to the owners and showed them how this particular incident happened so they could protect against it in the future. I then passed the job back to officers so they could make witness enquiries in the nearby area. 

Back in the office the day quietened down and I carried on with my paperwork – not very exciting but we have to make sure all the proper processes are followed.  

The next day 

Once again the phone was ringing as I walked through the door with a request to attend a sudden death involving a child. As with all instances of sudden death, they can be explained by a range of scenarios, but it is my responsibility to check the scene and eliminate any concerns over the cause. It is important we attend to rule out any involvement by a third party. I gathered the evidence and returned back to the office. 

Next on the list: offenders who had gained entry to a home and stole various items. I managed to recover fingerprints which I really hope will help put a name to the burglar/s. Later I was passed items by officers that were left at another scene and I logged them for testing. You can only hope that in the offender’s hurry to leave they have left proof of who they are. 

What I’ve described to you is a pretty standard week in the life of a Crime Scene Investigator. I hope this has given you an insight into the range of jobs and scenes we attend. Our role is a really important part of the investigative process and we cannot afford to leave any stone unturned. Even the smallest piece of evidence might be the key to a conviction and taking a dangerous criminal off the streets so they cannot continue to harm other people.  

I’m now off for a few well-earned rest days…  

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading. The next blog is from our principal investigator who will be letting you know about what you can do to help us if you ever find yourself a victim of crime. 

Thanks everyone,