Presentation on theme: "Scene of Crime Dr. Ravi Nanayakkara. Contents Definition of a scene of crime Legal authority and relevant sections of CPC Preparation for the scene Duties."— Presentation transcript:
Scene of Crime Dr. Ravi Nanayakkara
Contents Definition of a scene of crime Legal authority and relevant sections of CPC Preparation for the scene Duties of the Forensic Pathologist Medico legal issues
What is a Scene of Crime ? Who gives the authority ? What obligations do the police have ? When to visit the scene ? Who visits the scene ? The role of forensic pathologist at a scene of crime ?
What is a scene of crime ? It is the place where the alleged “crime” had taken place. (What initially looks like a crime may actually not be a crime. )
One crime = one scene ?
It can also be the place where a dead body / bodies lie. If a body is found at a place, may be, He was killed there. Mobilized to the scene by himself after sustaining injuries else where. Killed else where and subsequently brought to the scene with an attempt of “surreptitious disposal”.
Thus a scene of crime can be anything, anywhere with any number of dead bodies at any stage of putrefaction. E.g. A single fresh body of a young man found hanging in a hotel room. A collection of multiple incomplete skeletal remains in a mass grave in a jungle.
Who gives the authority ? Ideally by a magistrate’s order. ( But usually police will request the JMO or even the ISD may request. )
Law Section 370 of the Criminal Procedure Code Act No 15 of 1979 of Sri Lanka empowers an inquirer into sudden death and a magistrate to examine a scene of crime. Note the injuries Cause of death…
What obligations do the police have in crime scene investigation? Usually there the first to come to know about the scene / incident. Continued…..
They have to; I. Secure the area. ( by labeling it as a crime scene ) II.Prevent unauthorized personel from entering the scene. ( e.g. general public, media men, those who intentionally want to disrupt the scene etc. ) Continued…..
III. Inform the other authorities. E.g. Magistrate / ISD JMO Forensic scientists from government analyst’s department IV. Supply police photographers, Officers from finger print bureau etc.
V. Give a safety clearance of the scene, before others visit it. (What are the potential hazards in a scene? ) VI.Accept the productions from the scene.(Bullets, clothing, weapons etc.) VII. Transport the bodies to the mortuary.
When to visit the scene ? Ideally as soon as possible/without a delay, before the autopsy. What is a retrospective scene visit ? Why should you visit a scene with out delay ? Record the time of receiving the call, time of arrival at the scene and time of departure.
Who visits the scene ? Ideally a team work. As it; Prevents duplication of work. Reduces work load. Better preserves the scene. Minimally cross contaminates the scene. Gives a good opportunity for experts to share ideas. Continued…..
But due to practical reasons, JMO alone has to do the bulk of work. Those visiting the scene may depend upon the scene. ( explain ) E.g. SOCO’S (Scene Of Crime Officers from police department ) Magistrate / ISD JMO and his staff Continued…..
Forensic scientists ( e.g. ballistic specialists, toxicologists, serologists, anthropologists, entomologists, biologists etc. ) Police investigators ( E.g. photographers, officers from finger print bureau, etc. ) Any other skilled people depending on the scene ( E.g. geologists, aviation engineers, diving experts, electricians, etc.) Labourers / man power
Role of the JMO This entirely depends on the scene of crime. Have an idea/plan before the scene visit. Preparation for the scene of crime Obtain a history (From whom, why ?) Equipments – depend on the scene Man power Continued…..
1.Obtain a safety clearance. ( Why ? ) 2.Go as a team and use one path of entry. Walk on a line. 3.Separate the living from dead in a mass disaster 4.Obtain further information. 5.Tag the bodies and body parts in case of multiple deaths ( How ? / Why ? )
6. Permanent recording of the scene. Sketch Verbal description using a Dictaphone Photographs Videotape Indicate each body and body parts with tag number in the sketch. Also describe clothing, injuries, degree of putrefaction, weapons, blood, trace material in relation to the body.
7.Try to estimate the time since death (How ?) 8.Find out where the body had been moved after death. Distribution of hypostasis Drag marks Nature of the surface on which the body is lying.
9.Try to get a preliminary opinion of the COD.- why? E.g. Electrocution Lightning Explosion Poisoning Hanging Drowning CO poisoning Postural asphyxia Sexual assaults Abortion etc.
10. An idea about volitional activities. What are the volitional activities ? How to get an idea ? 11. Evidence of struggle. AM 12. Interpretation of injuries. PM 13. Period of survival.
14. Condition of disposal. 15. Collection of trace material. 16. Circumstances / Manner of death. 17. Reconstruction of event. 18. Transport the body to the mortuary.