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Title: Amateur vs. Professional: Does the recovery of forensic evidence differ depending on who assesses the crime scene?
Authors: Lingwood, J.
Smith, Lisa L.
Bond, J. W.
First Published: 11-Feb-2015
Publisher: Vathek Publishing (SAGE)
Citation: International Journal of Police Science and Management, 17 (1)
Abstract: Volume crime offences such as domestic burglary are commonly assessed for forensic opportunities by the first attending officer (FAO) who is present at the scene. Conversely, less serious volume crime offences such as thefts from motor vehicles (TFMV) are highly numerous and are routinely assessed for forensic opportunities by the victim talking to the police over the telephone. It is not clear whether or not this difference in attendance policy leads to differences in the types and quantity of forensic material recovered. The current study explored whether there was a benefit of evidence recovery for attended as opposed to non-attended assessments. 500 TFMV offences provided by Northamptonshire Police (UK) were analysed from 14th January 2010 to the 28th February 2011; 250 attended forensic assessments and 250 non-attended assessments. Significant differences were found between the two scenarios, with attended assessments more likely to yield DNA, property and trace substance material. Conversely, fingerprints were more likely to be recovered at non-attended assessments. Despite the fruitful findings of the current study, future research would benefit from establishing the methods of the FAO and forensic investigator when assessing and gathering evidence. Similarly, it is unclear whether these differences in forensic material are reflected in the identification of an offender and subsequently the solving of the crime.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1461355714566774
ISSN: 1461-3557
eISSN: 1478-1603
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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