Methods of Criminal Investigation

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Methods of Criminal Investigation

By | July 2011
Page 1 of 4
In criminal investigation there are many methods of inquiry. Most of these

methods can be placed in one of two categories: methods that help to reconstruct the past

or methods that help to discover or create a new idea or theory. Some examples of these

methods are induction, deduction, classification, synthesis and analysis.

Induction is a process that starts out with a specific observation and works

backward toward a general conclusion. Induction has been compared to the formation of

human common sense. As with common sense, a conclusion reached by induction can be

incorrect or misleading. Care should be taken when using this method of inquiry.

Deduction is essentially the opposite of induction. In deduction, you begin with a

general conclusion and the end result is specific fact or observation. As with induction

this method of inquiry is not always correct and can also be misleading.

Classification is when objects are arranged based on similar traits or

characteristics. This method (also called taxonomy) is very helpful when categorizing

evidence to be used later on the judicial process.

Synthesis is combining various forms of evidence to create a more accurate

account or details pertaining to a criminal investigation

Analysis is taking a complete theory or conclusion and breaking it down into

individual parts that can be easily studied, verified or understood.

Scientific method is another very essential method of inquiry. Scientific method is used

to observe, evaluate and essentially solve problems that are affiliated with the criminal

investigation process in a systematic and purely objective manner. It completely removes

any form of personal opinion or beliefs and relies solely on scientific facts to prove or

disprove a conclusion. It is used regularly to connect bits of circumstantial evidence and

provide investigators with a solid hypothesis, which in turn can help lead to a...
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