Skills for Criminal Investigation


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1. Method of inquiry is based on gathering all the facts in a criminal investigation, such as physical evidence, witnesses and records (Osterburg 2010). Methods of inquiry are ways an investigator gathers the information for a particular case they are investigating. In a criminal investigation the method of inquiry follow five simple words, who, what, when, where, and why, and lastly how. Method of inquiry can also be very helpful when a crime scene has to be reconstructed. An example of method of inquiry an investigator will use all statements and evidence obtained from the victim or witness and will use that information or evidence to help recreate the incident that occurred.

2. The optimal mindset of an investigator is to look for possible motives while remain open to all possibilities while focusing on the easiest evidence that can be gathered from the scene (Osterburg 2010). An investigator also has to be willing to keep an open mind and be able to change and adapt to the different evidence that might present itself. An investigator cannot be dead set on something or a certain way they conduct work, they must also be unwilling to change their approach. It is important to avoid tunnel vision while investigating a crime scene. I think that an optimal mindset is where the investigator can make the best of their job and help them process all the evidence possible, it might help them come to a conclusion of what happened. I also feel that the state of mind that is required to be a successful investigator can be taught through training and experience.

3. The scientific method is the analyzation of evidence, to examine a case from every angle possible, to not give up on an investigation until all of the angles are covered and to not allow personal emotions create a bias in their mind (Osterburg 2010). A scientific method example would be when an investigator arrives to a crime scene, they would first search the area for clues and see if something doesn’t seem right. Next they would have to search for different forms of evidence, most important would be trace evidence because it can provide DNA evidence which can also link a suspect to the crime. There are many more ways evidence and other clues can be harvested from a crime scene but it is up to the investigator to use their knowledge and help find the person responsible for the crime

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4. The primary three sources of the information investigators need are people, physical evidence, and records (Osterburg 2010). People are a primary source because that includes witnesses, victims, and suspects. An interview could become an interrogation if the witness becomes hostile or happens to lead an investigator to believe that they could indeed be a suspect or person of interest. For example the investigator is interviewing a little kid whom is a prime witness of a murder, the investigator needs to show extreme courtesy while still trying to retrieve information of what the witness knows. Evidence comes in many different forms, all is very important to investigators and could include fingerprints, firearm evidence, DNA, biological, fibers and more. It is dire that an investigator is careful around a crime scene and is able to preserve all the evidence gathered. Record include identification credentials such as, drivers licenses, passports, state id’s, social security cards, receipts, bank statements, press releases. An investigator that is examining a document might encounter ones that have been weathered or might have some other sort imperfections that could make documents unreadable. Should portions be unreadable or have some other imperfections the documents would have to be sent to the lab for further analysis.



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