Students on this course will follow a systematic approach to the identification, preservation and management of scenes of crime through a combination of lectures/interactive tutorials, skills teaching and undertaking practical exercises, e.g. role playing of crime scene scenarios. This will lead to an assessment of understanding and capability through practical exercises designed to bring together theoretical knowledge and operational experiences based upon experiential learning. Emphasis will be on the needs of first responders, operational line managers and initial investigators. Working in small groups, students will further develop skills, competence and confidence in responding to and managing crime incidents and scenes. Our delivery team consists of United Kingdom (UK) former senior police officers with significant operational experience of crime scene management and investigation, some of whom are also experienced university lecturers in the UK delivering various aspects of forensic science learning.
The study of forensic science is built upon two basic hypotheses; that every contact or action leaves some trace (Locard’s Principle of Exchange) and that no two objects are exactly the same (Principle of Individualism). As scientific methodologies have improved over the years, so the nature of what constitutes a trace has changed considerably. This course, in two parts, introduces the main categories of trace and class evidence (finger and body prints; fibres and hairs; glass and paint fragments; tool marks; body fluids, and imprints) and emphasises the importance of rigorous crime scene management and proper methods of evidence recovery.
This course takes account of industry best practice from the UK and across the world in the preservation and management of scenes of crimes. Real incidents will be used as case studies for students to apply their learning, knowledge and experience. The main text for this course is: Langford A., Dean J., Reed R., Holmes D., Weyers J., Jones A., 2010. ‘Practical Skills in Forensic Science’. 2nd Ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
This course is suitable for all first responders including police, security, fire and ambulance services officers as well as paramedics and new operational line managers. Awareness and adherence to simple principles can significantly improve the likelihood of locating, identifying and preserving evidence at crime scenes and increase the possibilities for evidence recovery and the detection of offenders.
To improve the knowledge, understanding and professional competence of course participants in relation to modern forensic science and how it can assist in the prevention, investigation and detection of crime.
- History of forensic science and its developments
- What constitutes a crime scene and its parameters
- Basic steps at a crime scene
- General awareness of how to secure and preserve crime scenes
- What constitutes “trace” and “class” evidence
- Common search methodologies relating to finding and securing evidence
- Awareness of the importance of crime scene preservation to the criminal investigation
- Protocols for the retrieval, packaging and submission of evidence for laboratory examination
- Knowledge of the history and breadth of forensic science practices
- Improved understanding of the value of forensic science and its underlying principles
- Improved understanding and awareness of how to recognise and preserve crime scenes
- Increased awareness of evidential traces and their value to investigations
- Understanding of the importance of accuracy, continuity and integrity
- Increased opportunities to investigate and detect crime
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