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Principles and practice of CSI - introduction

Now we are going to focus a little more on the types of evidence recovered at crime scenes and some of the core principles of scene examination.

You now have a tool, but what do you do with it and is it enough on its own?

The Introduction opens by defining the purpose of forensic science. It introduces us to the concept of “evidence” and in particular what some authorities define as “real evidence” (meaning ‘real’ in the sense of actually existing as a thing, rather than in the sense of genuine, not artificial). This is an important concept to grasp as courts – as many of us do in our daily business – tend to use witness narratives, or what people have to say, as the basis of providing and obtaining information.

The accompanying resources use eye-witness misidentifications to illustrate the pitfalls of testimonial evidence.

This doesn’t mean real evidence is infallible, and the video illustrate how an uncritical reliance on the Locard Exchange Principle can have devastating consequences. To be effective, the real evidence can only become Kirk’s “Silent Witness” if the incident scene is uncompromised. We therefore close by providing another tool – “CoPRRR” – which captures the 5 fundamental principles of incident investigation, each of which will be discussed in the next steps.

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Introduction to Forensic Science

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