Criminal Investigations

Topics: Scientific method, Police, Criminal law Pages: 3 (1116 words) Published: January 14, 2013
Criminal Investigations
The method of inquiry is the way that an investigator or detective gathers information about a specific case. There is several different method of inquiry such as evidence collection, witness and victim statements, and information stored in public and private databases. The methods of inquiry are used to figure out what happened at a particular crime scene. A criminal investigator is trying to establish the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the crime. During this process the information that is gathered can be piece together to help reconstruct what had happened at that crime scene. How this works is the investigator or detective, slowly and methodically works a crime scene gathering any evidence that can be obtained. He then gathers statements from anyone who was involved with the crime. Each of these steps can help paint a picture of what had happened. Specific aspects, like how the subject entered the house, and how he appeared to act while he was in the house, will give the Investigator or Detective a possible MO – Modus Operandi which is a subject’s specific method of committing a crime. This information can be put into the department’s report management system and if this MO has been seen before in a previous case, it could turn up a suspect’s name. To work Criminal Investigations, Investigators have to have an optimal mindset. A mindset is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretation of situations (Farlex, Inc., 2012). Not all law enforcement officers have the optimal mindset to work criminal investigations. When one investigates, he or she makes a systematic inquiry, closely analyzes and inspects while dissecting and scrutinizing information (Alifano, 2006). If an investigator does not have an optimal mindset then crucial evidence could be lost or mishandled. The investigator must take the time to look at every aspect of the case and determine what is fact and what is...

References: Alifano, C. (2006). Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation. Retrieved from http://www.worldwidelawenforcement.com/docs/FUNDAMENTALS%20OF%20CRIMINAL%20INVESTIGATIONS.pdf
Bright, W. (1952). Introduction to the Scientific Method. Retrieved from http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu/phy_labs/appendixe/appendixe.html
Farlex, Inc.. (2012). Mindset. Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mindset
Osterburg, J. W., & Ward, R. H. (2010). Criminal investigation, A method for reconstructing the past (6th ed.). Newark, NJ: Lexis Nexis / Anderson Publishing.
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