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1

The primary functions of initial Police responders at a serious crime scene:

- Attend the scene at an early stage
- Take control of the situation
- Co-ordinating tasks

2

Benefits of an appreciation:

- Informs all Police what they are expected to achieve
- Increases the chances of success (investigative aims/objectives are 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

3

Adopting an investigative mindset:

Police's purpose is always toinvestigation and continually reviewed death.

4

Risk assessment:

Before initial actions can be safely undertaken, those in charge at the scene must conduct an appreciation on the known information, to dictate how, why and what form initial action should take.

Subject to the appreciation of risks, a reconnaissance should be conducted to establish who is present at the scene. This may include other injured people, or a hidden offender.

The first priority will always be to ensure the safety of the attending Police members.

5

At hospital - dying declaration:

May be admissible as hearsay evidence under section 18(1) Evidence Act 2006.

To be admissible under section 18(1)(a), the court must be satisfied that both the content of the statement and the person who made it, are reliable.

The circumstances to consider under section 16(1) Evidence Act 2006, include:
- the nature of the statement
- the contents of the statement
- the circumstances relating to the making of the statement
- circumstances relating to the veracity of the person
- circumstances relating to the accuracy of the observation of the person

6

Initial action to preserve a scene:


IDENTIFY
consider possible approach paths and establish a CAP.

SECURE

PRESERVE
Best path into the scene.
Record any movements/action taken in the scene.
Ensure nothing is touched/moved.
Consider stepping plates.
Be prepared to take immediate action to preserve/record evidence that may change if nothing is done.

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

RECORD
The integrity of the scene by establishing/maintaining a crime scene log of movements, names, times and reasons for entry.

Observe/record full notes of precise details of the scene.

Complete a scene sketch.

Photograph the scene/consider video recording.

ID anything which is moved, noting the original and eventual positions.

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

7

Suspects at the scene

If homicide or serious crime is suspected, the identification, apprehension and isolation of the suspect are a priority.

8

Media

If present at the scene, keep them away from the immediate crime scene cordon and make no comment about the incident. Consult with the OC Investigation on arrival and explain what has happened, identify media members and where they are located.

9

Homicide And Serious Crime victims

It is the responsibility of the OC Investigation to:
- notify the Coroner early of the death
- arrange the post-mortem exam, in consultation with the Coroner
- consult the Pathologist before the PM commences, regarding the relevance and benefit of conducting x-ray or CT/CAT scans of the body

10

Establishing if the body has been moved

Where the body has been disturbed:
Do not attempt to restore the scene to its original unchanged scene to be subsequently reconstructed and photographed, if required.

11

Recording details and removing the body.

1) Record the position of the body
2) Mark and record the position of the body
3) Record all details of the position of the body, including:
PAWDLE
4) Consider health risks
5) Cover the hands, feet and head with paper bags
6) Ensure clothing on the body is not contaminated by contact with foreign objects.

12

PM exam

The primary role of the OC body during a PM is to observe, document and deal with exhibits associated with the body, in a structured, methodical manner.

13

Purpose of a PM

Primary reason to conduct a PM is to ESTABLISH CAUSE OF DEATH.

The Pathologists findings will provide further info to drive the investigation which may include:
- the mode and time of death
- establishing how injuries and/or events at the scene may have contributed toward the death of the victim
- determining the nature/size of any weapon(s) used
- determining the approximate height/stature of the suspect
- providing areas of interest for subsequent interviews of witnesses and/or suspects negating possible defences
- ID the victim, if ID not already established

14

Police who should attend PM

- OC Investigation
- OC Body
- a member specifically designated as exhibits officer for PM, if required
- Police photographer
- SOCO or FP officer, if required

SEEK AUTHORITY FROM THE CORONER:
- ESR scientist
- Crown Solicitor

15

Maori Culture

In the case of a homicide or serious crime involving a Maori victim, an Iwi liaison officer must be engaged as early as possible.

16

Formal ID

The OC Body is responsible for arranging formal ID and for obtaining a statement of formal identification.

If possible this should occur before the PM but may not always be possible due to a risk of contamination or because the PM will take place in a different geographical area to the one where the body was discovered.

ID will also be impractical after the body has been sealed in a body bag


IT IS IMPORTANT THOSE CARRYING OUT THE FORMAL IDENTIFICATION ARE FULLY INFORMED WHAT IS REQUIRED OF THEM AND WHAT THEY SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY VIEW THE DECEASED, PARTICULARLY AFTER A POST-MORTEM EXAM HAS TAKEN PLACE.

17

Information through skeletal remains.

The pathologist, with assistance from a forensic anthropologist, can usually provide information such as:

Whether the remains are actually bones.

Whether the bones are human.

The age, height and race of the person.



18

Role of the FLO.

The role of the 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.

19

Family liason plan

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 to and withheld from, the family
- requests made by the family which have not been agreed to, and the reasons for this
- complaints made by the family and the OC Investigations actions 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
- liaison with Victim Support and other support services

20

Cultural liaison

The FLO should identify the cultural origins of the victims family and ensure they are familiar with relevant cultural beliefs and protocols.

21

Action on appointment as an FLO

Normally responsible for profiling the victim, preparing a family tree and gathering all relevant information from the family.

22

The purpose of an area canvass

A methodically conducted area canvas 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.

23

Reconnaissance (area canvass)

The OC Investigation, OC Area Canvass and OC Suspects should attend the external/general scene as soon as practicable.

Conduct an appreciation and set the parameters and objectives of the canvass.

24

Identifying location parameters

Specialist Police units (e.g. Criminal Profiling 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.

25

Risk assessment (area for canvas)

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.

26

Resources and canvas tools

- street maps
- aerial photographs that show houses and the location of sections
- geological information
- local council records
- any other applicable references

27

Monitoring progress (area canvass)

Master record of ongoing progress maintained by OC Area Canvas, showing:

- which addresses have been visited
- which occupants interviewed
- documentation completed
- any relevant comments made

28

Other area canvas options to consider

Use of:
- media
- poster campaign
- mail drop
- high profile Police presence, using a caravan

29

Final report (area canvas)

Phase OC to submit a report to the OC Investigation.

Report should include:
- summary of all action taken
- significant findings
- attention drawn to any action that has been undertaken which was outside of the original phase strategy.

30

Witness management - the informant

Consider interviewing Police who have first contact with an informant as investigatively important witnesses.