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Lecture 5

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JSB284 Lecture Five Notes Introduction to Police Investigation What is an ‘Investigation’?  The term ‘investigation’ is a very broad term.  Applies to any line of inquiry and is a structured process to find an answer to defined problems.  Private investigations.  For this unit we are only concerned with police investigations. Police Investigations – Historical Context th th  The first detectives were known as ‘thief takers’ during the 18 and 19 centuries.  They were primarily private investigators who recovered stolen property for rewards. Police Investigations Today  Today, the investigative role is carried out by police.  Police may be both uniformed (primarily during initial response) or plain clothed (to be undetected and disguised when undertaking investigative role).  Other investigative agencies include: o Crime and Misconduct Commission o Australian Tax Office o Ombudsman o Coroner Media Representations vs. Reality  Books, television, movies etc.  There tends to be a neat little crime in every book/show which has ‘just enough’ evidence to solve.  Always amazing technologies which help solve the crime within 24hrs.  The crime is always solved by the end of the book/show.  Reality is very different to this. What is a Criminal Investigation?  It is a systematic endeavour with the following primary objectives: o To establish whether a crime has been committed. o To gather evidence with a view to building a prima facie (meaning ‘at first look’) case against a suspect. o To identify and apprehend a suspect. The Process of a Criminal Investigation 1. Define the problem 2. Collect facts and evidence 3. Present facts 4. Make a determination Define the problem  Has a crime been committed? If so, what time of crime was it/nature of crime (based on first impressions)?  The initial response phase is the most important. The crime scene is still fresh and people’s recollections will be most recent.  The investigator should call for medical help (where necessary); take notes on the details of crime scene; take witnesses’ statements (beginning with complainant if there is one); record the crime scene (video, photograph, drawing, notes etc); and collect evidence for later use (bag and tag). Collect facts and evidence  Role of investigator is to uncover traces left at a crime sc
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