Skip to 0 minutes and 15 secondsIn module one we begin to explore the fundamental principles of crime scene management and the investigation of crime. These principles are essential for a number of reasons.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 secondsFirstly, they act as a practical guide to action: what needs to be done now, as opposed to something that will need to wait. For example, a scene must be safe, secure and under control before the processes of evidence recovery can commence. Secondly, this approach imposes a degree of order on what can be an uncertain and changing set of circumstances. Finally, they are referred to as principles (and not rules to be followed blindly) because in some situations they are, after careful consideration, not followed! Every crime scene is different and has to be considered on its own merits. Outdoor scenes present different challenges from indoor scenes.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 secondsHow best to approach a scene and what other specialists need to be involved such as fire investigators or anthropologists, are questions that must be considered on a case by case basis.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 secondsIn relation to investigation, what we refer to as the six Ws: who, what, why, when, where & how form the central questions that need to be answered to solve a criminal inquiry. Again these act as a framework for practical action. If the identity of a victim of homicide is unknown this is likely to remain the most important question to be addressed. Once their identity is known, where they live, work, who they associate with and who their enemies are (if they have any) will quickly follow from routine police inquiries and intelligence. A key issue is that this is done systematically or as the police often say "leaving no stone unturned".

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsIn the murder by the loch case, you will experience how a complex but realistic investigation unfolds and how investigators, scientists and crime scene professionals address the developing questions that arise during the case. You will begin to understand how forensic science contributes to this process.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsOne of the difficult things to communicate to students of forensic science is how dynamic events are in such cases - burning questions one day can become irrelevant the next so there is a need for constant reflection on what evidence has been found and what this means in the light of the changing circumstances. Information is produced at a very fast rate from a multiplicity of sources - eyewitnesses, financial inquiries, CCTV and cell site analysis. It is essential that everyone in the inquiry is kept up to date in order to ensure that they are working productively on a question that still needs to be answered.

Skip to 3 minutes and 33 secondsThe principles and practises set out in this module also form the basis for a systematic, comprehensive and inquiring approach to the investigation of crime and allow insight, intuition and intelligence to be applied to investigative problems.

Welcome to Week 1

We’re going to begin by discussing crime scene management and the investigation of crime. This video will set the context for this and the rest of the week.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Forensic Science

University of Strathclyde