Evidence collection is an investigation of domestic violence, sexual assault, police need to collect a range of physical and verbal forms of evidence. In addition to taking statements from victims and suspects and documenting other verbal remarks or communication made by survivors or perpetrators during the investigation process, physical evidence, including forensic evidence of a crime Ex: fingerprints, saliva, blood, and semen, tissue under fingernails, unique ligatures, hairs and fibres– which is scientifically examined, should be collected. This evidence may prove vital in linking a perpetrator to a particular crime scene or victim.
Forms of Evidence Includes
- Signs of injuries like as cuts, scrapes, bruises, fractures, choking, pulled out hair) that can be photographed or attested to by an examining physician or medical clinician. Police should also be familiar with injuries that may not be visible immediately after an incident.
- Torn clothing
- Broken fingernails
- Forensic evidence like as fingerprints, saliva, blood, and semen, tissue under fingernails, unique ligatures.
- Paper documentation— diaries, letters, notes —either from the suspect or written by the victim and detailing past acts of abuse and violence
- Weapons, tools
- Broken household items, indicating a violent incident
- Statements from service providers involved in past incidents of violence
- Prior police incident reports
- Evidence of court orders, including bail restrictions or restraining orders
- Evidence of alcohol and/or drug abuse by the offender
- Criminal record/history of the alleged offender and all suspects
- Computer, internet/ email, text messages, and other forms of electronic evidence (voicemails, answering machine tapes, emergency number police tapes)
Evidence Collection Unit
Evidence Collection Unit (ECU) is charged with the processing of crime scenes and for providing expert court testimony. The ECU photographs, collects, and examines evidence discovered, and collected at crime scenes. ECU Officers are trained to photograph, prepare, and collect footprint, tool, and tire impressions.
The investigator is also responsible for the management of the crime scene, any attending scientific specialists, and the case management of evidence. In order to undertake this responsibility, the investigator must have the competence to record the crime scenes, as required, by notes, diagrams, photography, and video. The collection procedures must be of the highest level in order to provide integrity of exhibits and prevent any cross-contamination, particularly with trace evidence.