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What needs to be considered in the Initial response to homicide or serious crime



Initial response to homicide or serious crime - VAWSEIPO

Victim - Identify and locate the victim(s).

Appreciation - Make an initial appreciation of the incident. Assess personal risk and then preserve the lives of others.

Witnesses - Locate and contain witnesses.

Scene - Preserve the scene (e.g. set boundaries).

Exhibits - Note evidence and preserve any that would otherwise be lost or destroyed.

Ingredients - Consider whether the ingredients of the alleged offence have been established

Powers - Identify what powers are available and consider whether to execute them.

Offenders - Identify and apprehend suspect(s).


What are the Benefits of Appreciation Technique


Applying an appreciation technique can provide the following key benefits:

Informs all Police what they are expected to achieve

Increases the chances of success, i.e. the investigative aims/objectives being met

Establishes a sequence of activities to be carried out

Manages risk

Reduces uncertainty

Eliminates duplication

Ensures nothing is overlooked

Effective use of resources.

A full written appreciation may be used for protracted situations.

Urgent or pressing situations where immediate initial action is required, a shortened form of appreciation is usually conducted mentally i.e. not in writing, for speed.


What are the File Manager Responsibilities/Purpose


File Manager Responsibility - Purpose


The main functions of the File Manager are to:

H - assist with establishing and maintaining the Investigation Headquarters

P - operate the paper flow and associated structure in accordance with the Serious Crime Document Management System outlined in the Serious Crime Template

M - manage the electronic and physical files relating to the investigation

S - complete a synopsis of all documents received, excluding documents relating to covert policing activities

I - assist the 2IC with the identification and recording of evidential material

R - support the 2IC by reading all documents for the purpose of highlighting important information to the 2IC

F - ensure a flow of information throughout the investigation

P - assist with the preparation of the prosecution file

M - assist with management of the trial.


What are the Pupose and who attends Forensic Strategy meetings


Forensic Strategy meetings

Forensic Strategy meetings are held to determine which exhibit or other forensic examinations are required and the priority of those examinations.

Those attending Forensic Strategy meetings include the

  • OC Investigation
  • 2IC
  • OC Exhibits,
  • Crime Scene Co-ordinator/OC Scene,
  • anyone else deemed necessary by the OC Investigation. includING the pathologist, forensic scientist , Fingerprint Officer, SOCO, OC Body and other relevant experts.

Early involvement of forensic specialists will ensure exhibits are protected and that the maximum potential forensic evidence and intelligence are recovered from them.

Following any Forensic Strategy meeting, the OC Exhibits must record on the Exhibits Register, all decisions taken about the types of examinations to be conducted and the priority allocated to the examination of each exhibit.


What 7 steps need to be completed before Submission of exhibits for examination


Submission of exhibits for examination

When forwarding an exhibit for examination, follow these steps

  1. Ensure exhibit examination decisions are confirmed through the Forensic Strategy meeting process.
  2. Record in the Exhibits Register all decisions taken about the types of examinations to be conducted and the priority allocated to each examination.
  3. Ensure the OC Investigation has authorised the proposed examination.
  4. Prepare the necessary papers for the ESR or other expert. Ensure the POL 143 contains
    - brief circumstances of the case
    - purpose(s) of the examination
    - location where each item originates from
    - whether any exhibits are damp or require special attention
    - authorisation by the appropriate supervisor.
  5. Ensure any exhibits are prepared before being delivered
    - all items are separately wrapped
    - all parcels are sealed
    - all items or their packages are labelled and numbered
    - a list of all items is attached to the Police Form 143
    - the Police Form 143 is consistent with the labels on the items
    - items are in an appropriate condition, for example, clothing is dry and blood samples are refrigerated.
  6. Deliver exhibits for scientific examination promptly to avoid deterioration and loss of evidence.
  7. Inform the expert undertaking a scientific examination if it is no longer required.

What are the Responsibilities of OC Area Canvass?


O/C Area canvass enquiries in homicide or serious crime investigations -

The OC Area Canvass reports to the OC Investigation and together must ensure the canvass is conducted thoroughly and recorded accurately.

The OC area canvas ensures

the area canvass team remains focused

the canvass results in efficient use of resources

it returns relevant and manageable information and material.


What are the Police Responsibilities to Witnesses for



Family Liaison Officer (FLO)

Maintaining contact - Ensure the victim’s next of kin are regularly updated of the progress of both the enquiry and Court proceedings, as directed by the 2IC.


What needs to be covered in the Family Liaison Plan


Family Liaison Plan

The plan developed should consider needs of the family, lines of enquiry and all available intelligence. The family liaison plan is a dynamic process which must be reviewed in consultation with the FLO, at regular intervals. The plan should be recorded and consider:

selection of the FLO and criteria employed for the selection

exit plan for the FLO

objectives of the family liaison

assessing the most appropriate methods of conducting interviews with family members, including the use of specialist interviewers, where appropriate

information to be released/withheld from the family

requests by the family not been agreed to, and the reasons for this

complaints made by the family and the OC Investigation’s action to progress and resolve the issues raised

any member of the family who could be considered a suspect, to enable the OC Investigation to determine whether or not this is the case


What is the Role of the Family Liaison Officer (FLO)


Function of the FLO

The appointment of a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) will smooth this process and provide the vital conduit between the family and the Police investigation throughout the investigation phase, prosecution and beyond. It is very important that the person appointed is the most appropriate for the role and is available for the duration of the investigation.

Role of the Family Liaison Officer (FLO)

The role of the Family Liaison Officer (FLO) involves the day-to-day management of the partnership between the family of the deceased and the Police investigation. The primary function of an FLO is that of an investigator and not a support person. However, in performing this role, the FLO must also offer, facilitate and co-ordinate support that addresses the needs of the family.


What are the responsobilities of the OC body in relation to exhibits



The OC Body is responsible for:

R - recording, labeling, packaging, sealing and securing all physical exhibits relating to the body (including samples taken during the post-mortem).

A - It is recommended, where practical, that an additional officer is appointed to assist the OC Body as an Exhibits Officer specifically relating to the post-mortem examination.

P - All exhibits must be packaged and sealed before leaving the mortuary, and recorded in a Scene Exhibits Schedule.

A - The pathologist, and ESR, may retain some exhibits to submit directly to the laboratory for analysis. The OC Body must allocate these an exhibit number and record them in the Scene Exhibit Schedule.

I - Any item found at the crime scene or during the post-mortem examination which is of mutual interest to the pathologist and the investigative team must be preserved and handled in accordance with standard exhibit protocols.

R - The OC Body should also request, where applicable, a copy of any record created by the mortuary, of samples taken during the post-mortem examination.


What 12 steps does the OC body need to take when stipping the body


OC Body - Stripping the body

  1. The body must only be stripped in the presence of the pathologist.
  2. Remove the body from the secure mortuary fridge to post-mortem examination room (assistance of mortuary staff).
  3. Remove the body from the body bag, causing minimal disturbance to the body.
  4. Exhibit body bag and any sheets or wrappings used to transport the body
  5. Police photographer to photograph body before clothing is removed, and again after the body is disrobed. The pathologist will lead direction of the photographer.
  6. Remove items of clothing from the body.
    - Avoid cutting clothing off the body
    - Search clothing pockets - inventory of each of the pocket contents.
  7. Inventory of clothing and possessions, as each item is removed.
  8. Label each item of clothing and each possession.
  9. Seal each item in a separate paper bag or container.
  10. Ensure exhibits do not cross-contaminate
  11. Maintain security and continuity of the body and exhibits taken from the body, until the post-mortem examination commences.
  12. In cases involving obvious head trauma, before blood and debris is washed from the body, particularly the head hair, consider placing a fine sieve in the mortuary table drain hole to collect trace evidence that may have been transferred from a weapon, for later comparison with exhibits the suspect(s) have had access to.

What at the Responsibilities of the OC Body


Responsibilities of the OC Body= CSI GOD DMMIT ME RAPED


Certificate – Deceased person POL 265 certified by doctor or qualified paramedic

Sudden – Death procedures completed

In-Situ – Ensure body photographed in-situ, consider video recording


Guard – Secure and guard the body, body samples and exhibits relating to the body, with dignity and respect

Observations – Note and record observations relating to the body

Details – Of all medical staff who attended to the victim


Da bros – Ensure all cultural responsibilities addressed

Maintain - Security & continuity of the body, samples and exhibits from the scene to the commencement of the post mortem

Moved – Establish if the body has been moved or disturbed

Medical - obtain historical medial records of victim for information of pathologist

I.D. – Arrange formal ID on authority of the OC on POL 265A

Transport – Arrange transport to mortuary on authority of the OC


Mortem – Attend post mortem with OC or deputy appointed by them

Evidence – Preserve evidence from the body


Remove – Clothing & personal effects from the body

Arrange – Fingerprints and palm prints

Photographer – If necessary direct the Police Photographer to take additional photos of the body to ensure appropriate and sufficient photos taken before clothing removed, again after body disrobed and during post mortem

Exhibits – Record, label & secure all samples & exhibits from the body

Debrief – Attend the debriefing of the Pathologist & and record findings, on direction of the pathologist and/or OC


Initial Actions to Preserve a Crime Scene

Step 1 Identify



W - What is happening at the scene and who is there?

R - Consider other ‘related’ crime scenes.

E - Establish the ‘Crime Scene’ itself. Extend parameters as widely as possible.

N - Note and record observations.

S - Provide a SITREP/SFP to Comms and obtain acknowledgement.

G - Gather information and carry out an initial assessment of the scene.

P - Consider your warrantless powers to deal with evidential material in respect of serious offences, pursuant to the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

H - Establish a scene headquarters, and safe arrival / assembly points.

P - Consider possible approach paths and establish a Common Approach Path (CAP)


What are the Topics to be discussed and recorded at Forensic Strategy meetings


Topics covered during a Forensic Strategy meeting may include:

  • What examinations ESR and others could conduct on exhibits.
  • The priority each examination should receive.
  • Whether any further work is needed to assist a reconstruction.
  • A plan for any work to be completed that is required to assist the reconstruction.
  • An agreed reconstruction of the events relevant to the crime under investigation.

Following any Forensic Strategy meeting, the OC Exhibits must record on the Exhibits Register, all decisions taken about the types of examinations to be conducted and the priority allocated to the examination of each exhibit.


What are the Key points for team briefings by the OC Area Enquiries


A briefing should include but is not be limited to the points in this table.

1 - Advise staff on:
• what action to take if they believe they have identified the suspect
• what action to take if they locate items of evidential value
• what action to take if individuals refuse to assist
• how to complete the correspondence flow
• what information can be disclosed during the area canvass
• what information must not be disclosed.

2- Summarise the situation and detail the duties and areas of responsibility of each canvass team member

3- Emphasise the need for thoroughness and that every person in every household and visitors must be seen personally.

4- Stress that the questionnaire is only a guide to ensure the questions are asked, but should be regarded as flexible in that information supplied could lead to other questions.

5- Advise that evidence of possible probative value must be obtained in a formal written statement rather than notebook form. Note: The questionnaire must be endorsed, if a statement is taken.

6- Consider visiting the canvass area to record every address including flats and vacant sections and then reconcile these premises with the map.

7 - Ensure all forms are completed, and actioned as outlined.

8- Reconcile completed locations with the master copy to avoid duplication.


What are the Police Responsibilities to Witnesses for

OC Witnesses and 2IC Investigation


OC Witnesses and 2IC Investigation


I - Witness intimidation - By maintaining contact with witnesses, Police will be more likely to become aware of any threats, intimidation or interference and can arrange for appropriate action to be taken; such as initiating the witness protection program.

M - Witness media interest letters - If media interest is anticipated; consider advising witnesses and the victim’s family of the potential consequences of discussing evidence with journalists i.e. jeopardising Court proceedings.

O - Witness order - For the sake of simplicity it is advisable the OC Exhibits gives evidence first and produces all of the exhibits including photographs and the exhibit schedule. This enables all following witnesses to refer to the appropriate exhibits.

W - Welfare Issues - Witnesses should be provided with the name and contact details of the 2IC Investigation. The welfare and needs of witnesses must be considered throughout the investigation and Court process. Refer to section above in this
part, ‘Witness support’.

A - Ensuring Court Attendance - Maintain contact with all prosecution witnesses, ensuring they are summonsed, and available to appear in Court, as required.

C - Witness control - Ensure that witnesses do not:
• have any contact or communication with jurors
• discuss the case in public areas while waiting to give evidence
• discuss the case with witnesses waiting after they have given evidence.

R - Refreshing memory - At Court, request the witness refresh their memory by reading any previously signed statement(s) or interview transcripts.

I - Interpreter Issues - Care must be exercised to ensure that any interpreting service used is suitably qualified and meets the required standard. Refer to the Police Manual chapter ‘Investigative Interviewing witness guide’ section ‘Procedures when using interpreters at interview’.

P - Court Proceedings - Ensure witnesses are fully briefed as to their responsibilities and that they are updated throughout the investigative and Court process.

S - Arrange name suppression - Advise the 2IC Investigation of any witnesses, victims or persons connected to the case seeking name suppression, so that the 2IC can inform the Crown Solicitor to apply for a Court order under section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. The views of victims must be ascertained and conveyed to the judge.


What are the Police Responsibilities to Witnesses for

OC Witnesses and OC Investigation


OC Witnesses and OC Investigation
Expenses - Where a witness is appearing in the High Court, fees and expenses are the responsibility of and are paid for by, the Ministry of Justice. The OC Witnesses should assist and provide guidance to witnesses and arrange for witnesses to complete witness expense forms when they are at the Court, to facilitate payment of witness expenses by the Registrar of the High Court concerned. .

In certain situations the police will meet certain costs in relation to the witness. Where this is the case, the O/C Witnesses is responsible for arranging their payment.


What are the Police Responsibilities to Witnesses for

File Manager


File Manager

Victim views - For all serious crime cases, appropriate file documents must be completed to ensure victims, including family of the deceased, are
registered within the criminal justice system and that their views are taken into consideration. These include:
• Pol 1060 - Record of victim contact.
• Pol 392 - Victim impact statement.
• CSV1 - Court Services Victim Referral.
• Pol 128 - Bail opposition, where grounds exist.
• Pol 1065 - Victim request to be notified of bail etc


What are the Police Responsibilities to Witnesses for

File Manager and 2IC Investigation


File Manager and 2IC Investigation
Special measures - Early consultation with the Crown Solicitor is required regarding those witnesses identified as being in need of special consideration, under sections 103 and 105 of the Evidence Act 2006.

The File Manager will also need to make necessary arrangements with the Court, to accommodate evidence given by those witnesses in alternative ways i.e. by video relay or from behind a screen.


Initial Actions to Preserve a Crime Scene

Step 2 Secure



S - Where necessary, exercise powers to secure the scene pursuant to section 116 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

C - Establish a cordon using Police emergency tape

R - Remove all persons within the scene in a way that causes a minimum of disturbance to the scene.

U - Prevent unauthorised persons from entering or leaving the scene.

B - Arrange and brief scene guards with clearly defined duties

L - Arrange Crime Scene Logs.

D - Prevent any further loss or damage to evidence caused by adverse weather or other factors, such as animals.


Initial Actions to Preserve a Crime Scene

Step 3 Preserve


  • Consider the best path into the scene.If no immediate life is at risk, consider using stepping plates
  • Record any movements/action taken in the scene.
  • Be prepared to take immediate action to preserve and/or record evidence that may change if nothing is done.
  • Preserve what is there and leave it ‘in situ’. Ensure nothing is touched or moved. The scene must be kept in its original state.

Initial Actions to Preserve a Crime Scene

Step 4 Consider


If initial photographs of the scene and persons present are necessary.


Initial Actions to Preserve a Crime Scene

Step 5 Record



M - Identify anything which is moved, noting the original and eventual positions.

R - Make an accurate record of these facts and report them to the OC Investigation at an early stage.

S - Complete a sketch of the scene.

L - Ensure the integrity of the scene by establishing and maintaining a crime scene log of movements, names, times and reasons for entry and exit to the scene.

O - Observe and record full notes of precise details of the scene, particularly the location of the victim.

P - Photograph the scene and consider using video recording.


What needs to be considered in relation to Exhibit numbering


O/C Exhibits - Exhibit numbering

Any exhibit located must be assigned an individual exhibit number.

This number must be unique, clearly identifiable with that particular exhibit and recorded on the exhibit label Scene Schedule, and Exhibit Register.

The numbering system should be determined by the OC Exhibits, in consultation with the Crime Scene Co-ordinator/OC Scene and others

This system must be explained to all investigative staff.


What are the Responsibilities of OC Exhibits


Responsibilities of OC Exhibits

The OC Exhibits is responsible for

  • establishing and maintaining exhibit management systems and
  • for maintaining the physical security and continuity of all exhibits.

Their duties will culminate in the provision of an accurately recorded exhibit package and the availability of exhibits as required throughout the Court process.

The role of OC Exhibits is flexible, depending on the scale of the investigation. In smaller investigations the OC Exhibits (in conjunction with the OC Investigation) may also conduct an appreciation and facilitate a thorough interrogation of every exhibit, to
establish the:
• evidential value of each exhibit
• investigative opportunities presented by each exhibit
• further enquiries that are needed.


Whatis the purpose of exhibit numbering


Purpose of exhibit numbering
The exhibit numbering system should be simple, efficient and provide the following key attributes:
• be consistent
• allow delegation of exhibit numbers to staff who will utilise them
• cope with multiple scenes
• be compatible with technology, allowing searching to be conducted using exhibit numbers
• encompass all exhibits, e.g. Medical Examination Kits (MEKs), documents, reference blood samples and photographs sent to ESR.


What are the 5 steps are to be taken when conductin ghte initial action to preserve a crime scene.


Step 1 - Identify

Step 2 - Secure

Step 3 - Preserve

Step 4 - Consider

Step 5 - Record