Area Canvass Enquiries Flashcards Preview

CIB 014 - Serious Crime Investigation > Area Canvass Enquiries > Flashcards

Flashcards in Area Canvass Enquiries Deck (13)
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Purpose of area canvass

Of note only

Often links exist between the scene of a crime and the offender, victim and witnesses.

A methodically conducted area canvass therefore presents a high likelihood of identifying or contacting the offender, an associate of the offender, significant witnesses, identifying evidence or exhibits and establishing significant facts



The main objectives of an area canvass may include:

• identifying the Offender
• identifying and locating Evidence, such as vehicles, discarded clothing, weapons and other articles

• identifying Witnesses
• gathering Information.

Of note

May also provide:
- Sightings of victim, offender, witnesses or property/vehicles
- Eliminating persons or vehicles
- Opportunity for early arrest
- Develop lines of inquiry



Of note only

The OC Investigation, OC Area Canvass and OC Suspects should attend the external/general scene as soon as practicable, to make a reconnaissance of the area and conduct an appreciation and set the parameters and objectives of the canvass.

This will also provide a clear perspective of the area, when it is referred to subsequently in statements and/or briefings.


Timing of a canvass phase

Of note only

An initial area canvass will normally be conducted when Police first attend the incident. A formal area canvass will normally follow and re-visits are frequently required to capture persons who were not present during the earlier canvass enquiries.

In some cases, the area canvass should be conducted at the same time as the original offence occurred, to capture people who regularly pass through that area at that time of the day, e.g. a homicide of a person in a park in the early hours of the morning.


Identifying location parameters

Relevant locations which may influence the setting of location parameters include:

• scenes where victims, offenders or witnesses have been present
• scenes where offences have taken place
• scenes where vehicles, property or exhibits have been found
• access and egress routes to and from scenes

• premises within the line of sight of scenes
• location where the victim was last seen alive
• locations or premises frequented by the victim

Of note

Specialist Police units such as the Behavioural Science Unit or criminal or geographic profilers may be consulted to assist with setting parameters or identifying locations where suspects are likely to frequent or to reside.


Risk assessment

Once the location parameters are set, intelligence systems should be analysed to establish whether there are any people or events in the area which those carrying out the enquiries should be aware of.

This may include:

• violent offenders
• persons wanted by police for other crimes or wanted on warrant
• groups with particular linguistic or cultural needs
• local incidents or issues which residents may raise with Police.


Resources and canvass tools

Of note only

The OC Area Canvass should seek to obtain suitable street maps, aerial photographs showing houses and the location of sections, geological information, local council records and other applicable references.


Key points for team briefings

- Summarise situation
- Emphasise need for thoroughness
- Advise staff on action to take in different situations

- Stress that questionnaire is a guide only
- Ensure all forms completed
- Take FWS when required


Team motivation

Of note only

The OC Area Canvass should ensure staff morale remains high and this can be achieved by providing regular feedback on the way canvass enquiries are contributing to the progress of the investigation, together with updates on the progress being made with other phases of the enquiry.


Monitoring progress

A detailed master record of ongoing progress should be continually maintained and updated by the OC Area Canvass, showing:

• which addresses have been visited,
• which occupants interviewed,
• the documentation completed,
• and any relevant comments made


Other options

Consideration can be given to using the approaches outlined below or a combination of them, to complement door to door enquiries:

• Media.
• Poster campaign.
• Mail drop.
• High profile police presence, using a caravan.



At the conclusion of the area canvass a thorough debrief must be carried out.

This may include confirming such aspects as:

• relevant information provided by persons seen

• identity of any suspects
• whether persons have a credible alibi

• whether any issues arose that could improve future performance in canvass enquiries.


Final report

The report should include;

- a summary of all action taken
- any significant findings highlighted
- attention drawn to any action which was outside of the original phase strategy