Crime scene evidence who is involved? Police officer and SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officer) or CSI (Crime Scene Investigator)

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1 Police officer and SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officer) or CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) Task 1 Police officers and SOCOs both attend crime scenes, but they have different jobs to do. Read the statements from interviews with a police officer and a SOCO talking about their jobs. Cut out the statements. Decide who made each statement and group them together. The evidence we collect is carefully packaged and given a detailed label. This is important because it will avoid confusion and prevent contamination. We arrive after the police have secured the crime scene and our role is to ensure that the required evidence is collected. Police officers are usually first at the scene of a crime and this was no exception. First off, we made sure that other emergency services had been called. In this case an ambulance was required for an elderly lady who had fallen during the incident. I gave immediate first aid. My role as a police officer? Let me give you an example: robbery at the sub-post Office on Brick Lane last week. Colleagues will photograph the crime scene and sometimes video is taken. In this case, the perpetrator was well known to the police and colleagues had carried out an arrest before the end of our shift. Investigating police officers let us know what type of evidence they re interested in. It could be prints, fibres, ballistics all sorts. We ll then decide the best methods of collection. Later, whilst Dez sealed off the area to prevent evidence being lost or tampered with, I began to interview witnesses Page 1 of 6

2 Forensic scientist and lab technician Task 2 Forensic scientists and lab technicians both deal with evidence collected from a crime scene. Read the statements from interviews with a forensic scientist and a lab technician talking about their jobs. Cut out the statements. Decide who made each statement and group them together. We have to be meticulous and organised, maintaining a high level of cleanliness in the labs and work spaces, to prevent contamination of evidence samples. We do all the groundwork, such as preparing samples of evidence for analysis. I am based in the lab and my work involves the analysis of evidence from the crime scene. My team is responsible for the routine maintenance of the equipment. I will write a report and may have to present my findings in court. I must always remain impartial. I have colleagues who are experts in explosives and firearms; others who can identify fragments of paint or microscopic fibres; another who analyses handwriting. She can look at how you write the words tea and toast and tell you what you had for breakfast! My team provides vital support for our forensic scientists. My particular specialism is the recovery of data from mobile phones and computers. Using sophisticated tests I can establish a person s blood group or produce a DNA profile. Routine analysis of samples is also part of our job and we record results Page 2 of 6

3 Task 3 Using the statements from each interview, summarise the role of each person involved in dealing with evidence from a crime scene. Police officer Forensic scientist SOCO or CSI Lab technician Page 3 of 6

4 Teaching notes This activity explores the roles of four people (a police officer, a SOCO, a forensic scientist and a lab technician) involved in the handling of evidence from a crime scene. Each person has been interviewed about their job and these interviews have been broken down into a series of quotes. Students read and sort the quotes: first from those people in contact with the crime scene, the police officer and the SOCO and then from the forensic scientist and the lab technician, both of whom handle the evidence in a laboratory. Having sorted out the quotes, students summarise the information into a series of bullet points which illustrate the role of each person. They can use the template provided. Extension: Students can discuss the similarities and differences between each job Page 4 of 6

5 Answers Police officer My role as a police officer? Let me give you an example: robbery at the sub-post Office on Brick Lane last week. Police officers are usually first at the scene of a crime and this was no exception. First off, we made sure that other emergency services had been called. In this case an ambulance was required for an elderly lady who had fallen during the incident. I gave immediate first aid. Later, whilst Dez sealed off the area to prevent evidence being lost or tampered with, I began to interview witnesses. In this case, the perpetrator was well known to the police and colleagues had carried out an arrest before the end of our shift. SOCO or CSI We arrive after the police have secured the crime scene and our role is to ensure that the required evidence is collected. Investigating police officers let us know what type of evidence they re interested in. It could be prints, fibres, ballistics all sorts. Colleagues will photograph the crime scene and sometimes video is taken. The evidence we collect is carefully packaged and given a detailed label. This is important because it will avoid confusion and prevent contamination. Forensic scientist I am based in the lab and my work involves the analysis of evidence from the crime scene. Using sophisticated tests I can establish a person s blood group or produce a DNA profile. My particular specialism is the recovery of data from mobile phones and computers. I have colleagues who are experts in explosives and firearms; others who can identify fragments of paint or microscopic fibres; another who analyses handwriting. She can look at how you write the words tea and toast and tell you what you had for breakfast! I will write a report and may have to present my findings in court. I must always remain impartial. Lab technician My team provides vital support for our forensic scientists. We do all the groundwork, such as preparing samples of evidence for analysis. Routine analysis of samples is also part of our job and we record results. My team is responsible for the routine maintenance of the equipment. We have to be meticulous and organised, maintaining a high level of cleanliness in the labs and work spaces, to prevent contamination of evidence samples Page 5 of 6

6 Suggested points: Police officer: SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officer) or CSI (Crime Scene Investigator): usually first to arrive at crime scene ensures other emergency services have been called gives first aid seals off the area interviews witnesses arrests suspects. must ensure evidence is not lost from crime scene finds out what evidence investigating officers require lifts fingerprints (or footprints, tyre tracks etc.) decides best method of collection of evidence photographs/videos crime scene packages and labels evidence correctly. Forensic scientist: Lab technician: based in a lab analyses evidence from crime scene finds out blood group carries out DNA profile recovers data from mobile phones / computers firearm and explosive expert analyses handwriting writes reports presents findings in court. supports work of forensic scientist prepares samples carries out routine analysis records results maintains equipment keeps high level of cleanliness in lab Page 6 of 6

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