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The Scene Of The Crime

A room. An entire building. A wharf and a surrounding harbor. A three-mile path of a disintegrating airplane.
A keypad and a receiver of a public telephone booth.

     These places could all be 'the crime scene'. But in forensic terms, a 'crime scene' isn't only the actual location
of the crime - it is also the staging and planning areas, the paths of flight to and from the primary scene,
and the paths between the primary and the secondary scenes.

     The first person on the scene (the first responder) is immediately confronted with
a number of considerations :

1) victims - who may be in need of medical assistance.
2) witnesses - who are going to melt away at the first opportunity.
3) possibility of further criminal activity.
4) responsibility of preserving whatever evidence might be remaining.
5) securing a crime scene.
6) maintaining safe corridors for emergency personnel.

     There are a lot of things to be done and considered for by the first responder, from getting initial statements
from victims who can provide them, making preliminary separations of witnesses, suspects, and bystanders, and
arranging for visual barricades if it appears likely that the media will become intrusive.

     There can also be special locations for a crime to occur. These special locations are locations that present
special considerations of forensic value. A special location needn't be rare or unusual, but it will change some
aspect of the forensic study, negating the usual rules. For example, in water (the variation of pressure, degree
of salinity, temperature changes at various depths) and extreme altitude (can cause chemical changes to evidence and
human remains - giving false and misleading information). But nevertheless, forensic scientists can still pull pertinent information from the
evidence in such special locations, provided the first responders took detailed notes and made excellent observations of the crime scene.




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Next - The Evidence
Next - The Scene Of The Human Body


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