questions detectives ask at a crime scene

Knowing what questions to ask in an investigation interview comes with experience. However, whenever possible, and at the appropriate time, informing the family of details is essential in not only furthering a good relationship during the pursuit of a criminal case against a suspect, but for the peace of mind of surviving family and friends as well. While such a reaction from loved ones is understandable, the circumstances in this case eventually made it impossible for the culprit responsible for the death of the child to be indisputably proven and held accountable. For example, when interviewing a witness to a crime, the investigator may ask the witnesses to relate in their own words what they saw. A well-trained crime scene investigator will be aware of the psychological impact of the violent death of a family member. The crime scene investigator who arrives at a scene where witnesses are still present may decide to question them or examine skin, clothing and hair, especially in the case of a violent death. Charles Silberman, author of Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice says, "Because they rarely come upon a crime in progress, police depend on members of the public for knowledge that a crime has been committed. Resolving Conflict Using Problem-Solving Methods, Emotional Intelligence: The Ability Model, Marketing and Sales Strategies that Use Persuasion, The Impact of Emotional Intelligence and Personal Relationships, The Role of Persuasion in Interpersonal Relationships, The Impact of Self-Confidence on Personal Issues, Criticism of Emotional Intelligence Measures of Assessment, Assertiveness Training Requires Effective Communication. A crime scene investigator will often ask witnesses for their version of what happened as well as to attempt to find out more about the victim's actions immediately prior to death. Each case is different, and crime scene investigators must follow proper procedure and protocol when it comes to the release of any information from the scene. In addition, try to minimize distractions during the interview. CSI: Dealing with Witnesses and Family Members. At times, it is difficult to know what information can be released and what can't. In addition, it is important for investigators to wait until the witness has offered information before beginning to analyze it. Use a calm approach and try to set the witness at ease. Some family members or friends are gathered in a different area of the house. One of the biggest mistakes any investigator can make is to talk too much. However, it is extremely important that the crime scene be left undisturbed until crime scene investigators, technicians and other personnel arrive so that photographs and measurements may be taken prior to disturbing any potential evidence. During the early stages of the investigation, it is often necessary to withhold information, for both strategic and tactical reasons. © Copyright 1999-2020 Universal Class™ All rights reserved. Damaging relations between potential witnesses and law enforcement personnel at such a vital stage of the investigation is not wise. Dealing with such a range of raw emotions is a challenge for novice and experienced crime scene investigators. Case Detectives, ask questions and get answers directly from YCSD investigators here. Sometimes, even police officers will attempt to try to 'do something' for the deceased, especially if family members are present at the location. At all times, keep conversation limited to the task at hand, speak softly so that everyone surrounding the crime scene can't hear what you're saying, and above all, always strive to maintain a professional demeanor when attending to any victim. At a crime scene, all investigators must refrain from any conversation or comments that do not pertain to the crime scene. At the time, immediate grief is coupled with anger or helplessness. Focus should be on what is being said rather than how it is being said. They may feel that what they have to offer in ways of information is not valuable to the questioning officer or crime scene investigator and will hesitate to share such information. The key points to remember in any interview are to: In many cases, family members and friends will want to know information about the death of their loved one. Sometimes, this reaction is not deliberate, but is merely a protection mechanism that is adopted by many surviving family members and friends following the death of a loved one. Working the scene of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty presents special challenges to crime scene investigators as well because they will be expected to put all emotion aside in order to effectively process the crime scene. I will need to get a statement from you. As soon as possible following the questioning process, it is wise to write a summary or detailed description of the statements made by a witness, especially when more than one has been questioned about a particular incident. Knowing the basics of how to accomplish a successful contact between witness and investigator may make all the difference in the resolution of a case. Our records show you are a member of the {niceuserinfo:usergroup} group, {niceuserinfo:username}. Was the gun loaded? A show of impatience or lack of concern will only serve to distance witnesses from offering what may be potentially valuable information. . When questioning witnesses, family members or friends of victims, it is important to remain patient and courteous at all times. You can still view the questions. How long ago did this happen? The manner of death also has a large impact on survivors. Knowing how to ask questions is as important as knowing what questions to ask. Suicide, murder or death caused by a vehicle accident is more difficult for family members to work through than a natural death, especially if the victim is a child. If you think of anything else, please notify us. If care is not taken, surviving family members and friends may often hear comments from law enforcement personnel that may be misconstrued. They are equally dependent on victims, witnesses and other informants for knowledge of who the offender is and where he might be found.". . It is important for surviving family members and friends to be made aware of this. Speaking to witnesses, especially family members and friends, needs to be handled tactfully and respectfully despite the urgent need for information. A former Long Beach, California Police Department Commander suggests the following guidelines when interviewing or questioning any potential witness to a crime. In such cases, it is best for the crime scene investigator to refer the family member to the supervising scene officer or investigator for information. Oftentimes, information must be contained in order to help crime scene investigators and other law enforcement personnel to eventually capture the perpetrator. Question witnesses separately, if possible. For example, a crime scene investigator arrives at the scene of a murder victim found in his bedroom. The death of a child through murder creates a special challenge to law enforcement personnel and crime scene investigators for a multitude of reasons.

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