Before attending scene
• Remember decisions must be driven by the circumstances, not just by the requirements of a checklist.
• Obtain all available information.
• Consider requesting the complainant to assist/observe, if safe to do so.
• Make an appreciation of the incident.
• Develop a plan to progress the inquiry, considering the relevant risks.
Remember: Freeze, Control, Guard and Preserve.
• Assess own safety and then preserve lives of others.
• Identify and apprehend suspect(s).
• Contain and control witnesses.
• Preserve scene.
En route to scene
On arrival at scene
• Look out for the suspect.
• Note and consider stopping any vehicles attempting to leave the scene.
• Prioritise tasks and assign duties, e.g. VOWES, i.e. Victim, Offender,
Witnesses, Exhibits and (immediate) Scene.
• Log arrival with Comms and obtain an acknowledgement.
• Gather information and conduct a risk assessment / appreciation.
• Ensure the safety of yourself, colleagues, victim and others.
Give a SITREP to Comms , and provide a Safe Forward Point, if necessary.
• Establish a single clear common path into and out of scene.
• Record relevant information.
Control people at the scene to gain control of the scene
• Take control of the scene.
• Exercise warrantless powers if appropriate, pursuant to the Search and
Surveillance Act 2012.
• Clear the scene of persons and if possible, contain them nearby.
• Identify and locate the complainant and conduct a preliminary interview.
Refer: Investigative Interviewing Witness Guide.
• Arrange a detailed interview and statement.
Victim - If injured
• Commence first aid and call an ambulance as required.
• Conduct a preliminary interview.
• If victim is expected to die, consider taking a statement from the victim, whether signed by them or not. Should the victim subsequently die, their statement may be admissible as hearsay evidence under Section 18(1) of the Evidence Act 2006, provided the court is satisfied that the reliability of the statement can be demonstrated, as required by Section 18(1)(a).
• Treat the victim as a scene and do not move them unnecessarily.
• Take DNA swabs from the victim's skin, if appropriate.
• Record and photograph any injuries.
• If victim is taken to hospital, Police must: Accompany the victim to
hospital, ascertain victim's current medical condition, preserve clothing,
debrief relevant medical staff and update the OC Investigation.
Victim - If apparently dead
• Call ambulance. Attempt resuscitation if appropriate (note original body
• Obtain confirmation of life extinct, unless death is obvious.
• Establish victim's identity.
• Do not move the body. Record any previous movements.
• Record exhibits, body position, lividity (gravitational settling of blood),
injuries & clothes.
• Make a sketch plan/photographs.
• Give early update to the OC Investigation.
Identify and preserve the scene (freeze, control, guard and preserve):
• Carry out an initial assessment of the scene.
• Use a Common Approach Path.
• Clear the scene.
• Arrange and brief scene guards. Ensure Crime Scene Logs are used.
• Establish adequate cordon parameters.
• If no immediate life is at risk, consider using stepping plates.
• Protect fragile exhibits and any exhibits exposed to the element.
• Call for assistance/resources as necessary.
• Make appropriate records, i.e. who, what, where, when, why, how.
• Sketch plan / initial photographs of the scene.
• Make accurate records and report them to the OC Investigation as soon as possible.
• Contain, Isolate and seek witnesses’ co-operation.
• Prioritise interviews by investigative importance.
• Conduct scoping interviews.
• Photograph witnesses/injurie.
• Consider whether witnesses are 'scenes'.
Identify routes suspect used to arrive/leave
• Isolate from other people.
• Ask suspect to remain & co-operate.
If the suspect. . .
refuses to co-operate
then. . . consider whether grounds exist to arrest,
• consider if it is necessary to caution the
suspect. is arrested caution the suspect.
• Consider searching the suspect pursuant to the Search and Surveillance
• Note the suspect's appearance, demeanour and condition.
• Record comments made by suspect.
• Consider a preliminary interview where appropriate, and return to a Police
station as soon as possible.
Managing the media
• Keep media from the immediate crime scene.
• Make no comment to the media and advise the OC Investigation.
Before leaving the scene
• Brief the OC Investigation before handing on responsibility for the scene.
• Cover what's been done, what is being done, and what needs to be done.
• Provide Comms Centre with a sitrep.
• Update the OC Investigation; to include details of any alterations made to the scene.
• All initial attending staff submit copies of notebook entries and all required documentation including copy of footwear if entered scene, before completing duty that day. Formal written statements should be submitted rather than jobsheets, to limit unnecessary duplication and delays.
Initial action to preserve scene Steps in Preserve
• Preserve what is there and leave it 'in situ'. Ensure nothing is touched or moved. The scene must be kept in its original state. • Be prepared to take immediate action to preserve and/or record evidence that may change if nothing is done. For example, rain may damage a footprint or bloodstain. • 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
Initial action to control scene Steps in control
- Remove everyone from scene, make sure they don't take anything or contaminate the scene - Separate and warn them not to discuss what has happened - Keep rivals apart - Obtain details and conduct prelim interviews - Find out who has left