How Does Science Help in Crime                     Investigation


Major technological advancements are transforming our society. The field of crime and crime investigation are also not untouched by the technological and scientific revolution.

The definition of crime as well as the strategies used by criminals to commit it have drastically changed as a result of advances in science and technology. Criminals have improved their methods of identity concealment and evolved their methods of crime. The average individual nowadays also has a better understanding of science and technology because everyone has access to cellphones and the internet. Researching many ways to commit a crime without being discovered is simple with the internet. The emergence of dark web as a platform where criminals are lurking at every corner is even more concerning since no traces of criminal behaviour are left behind

As criminals become increasingly savvy in using the latest tech and scientific development to commit crimes, investigators can’t be left behind. Crime investigation is also evolving with the times. Investigators can no longer rely only on their time-honored methods of questioning suspects, gathering information from sources, and surveillance to find criminal activity.

Forensic : Application of science in crime investigation

When solving a crime, routine investigation or criminology focuses on determining the specifics and causes of the crime. On the other hand, science assists in drawing a connection between the facts and the evidence, delivering accurate, trustworthy, and objective information

The term "forensic science" refers to the application of scientific concepts to legal investigations because the word "forensic" implies "about the law."

In forensic science, crimes are investigated by examining potential evidence using scientific procedures or skills. Forensic scientists examine and analyze different kinds of evidence gained from crime scenes and other locations to produce unbiased conclusions that can aid in the investigation and prosecution of crime perpetrators or clear an innocent person of suspicion.

Fields of forensic science:

In crime labs technicians and scientists work on analysing an infinite stream of evidence. This challenging research involves a wide range of scientific disciplines, including almost all of the physical and biological sciences as well as computer science.

Some common forensic science laboratory specialties include:
  • Forensic molecular biology (DNA)
  • Forensic chemistry
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Trace evidence analysis (hairs and fibers, paints and polymers, glass, soil, etc.)
  • Latent fingerprint analysis
  • Firearms and toolmark analysis
  • Handwriting analysis
  • Fire and explosives examinations
  • Digital evidence analysis

In addition to these, forensic pathology, forensic nursing, forensic psychology, forensic entomology, and forensic engineering are a few forensic specialties that are used outside of forensic laboratories.

Numerous forensic facilities have been set up in India to swiftly solve criminal cases using laboratory and field investigations.

How is forensic science used in crime investigation

Examining physical evidence

Forensic scientists examine the evidence that crime scene investigators gather. The evidence is collected and analysed in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the law.
Experts in forensic science have specific procedures for assessing, gathering, and conserving all forms of evidence. The physical evidence is generally categorized as living physical evidence and non-living physical evidence. In this context, "living physical evidence" refers to anything that belonged to a living body, such as blood, saliva, hair, etc., "non-living physical evidence" refers to objects that are inorganic in origin, such as fingerprints, tyre prints, glass, or bullets.

Examining psychological evidence

In certain instances, forensic psychologists and psychiatrists are called upon to develop criminal profiles as an additional tool to help investigators sieve through leads. In order to do this, these behavioural scientists will review all of the available data from a crime, which gives them crucial cues about the likely offender. The prospective age, race, and marital status of a criminal are all possible details in a profile.

Reconstructing a crime scene

Forensic research scientists can aid Investigators in learning how a crime was committed, including what tools were used, when the crime occurred, and where it occurred. For example forensics can identify the type of firearm used in a crime by looking at the bullet casings, and a forensic pathologist can tell whether a victim had been abused repeatedly by looking at a body.

Identifying suspects

Criminals can be located with the aid of evidence that forensic experts have examined. Crime scenes are no different from any other environment in that every time someone interacts with it, something is left behind. Criminals may leave behind evidence that can be used to identify them, such as fingerprints that can be compared to data held in criminal databases or blood, semen, and hair that may provide DNA evidence.

Even though forensic science has significantly aided the criminal justice system, there will always be limits to the application of the law. The criminal justice system places a high value on forensic science and has relied on it for making decisions for centuries. Forensic reports have been viewed as a belief offered by specialists and are regarded as the bible by many courts. However, courts are not obligated by the reports and may rely on additional evidence.

Equally important when solving crimes and getting justice for victims is the application of criminal law and forensic evidence in itself is not enough.

For early professionals and students interested in making a career in crime investigation, an important step towards building a strong career in crime investigation is to study about laws on criminal procedure.

Opt for courses on criminal procedures here to grow in your legal career.

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