Before the testimony, the investigator must make sure that the investigation is complete and the final report is submitted. Then, the investigator should arrange a pre-trial meeting with the attorney who called him/her into court and present the summary of the case along with all materials pertaining to the investigation, such as evidence, photographs, reports, etc. At the meeting only the attorney will review the case emphasizing strengths and weaknesses of both sides, and suggest the possible direction of witness questioning for both attorneys. Right before the trial, the investigator should review the case again, focusing on such issues as availability of evidence, legibility of notes, and accurateness of final report. Since the deposition testimony usually follows the responses to interrogatories, a good time to start witness preparation is after the interrogatories are answered. The interrogatory answers act as a structure based on which the further discover will be made. Therefore, the thoroughness and accuracy of the answers should be evaluated. Usually, the questions and answers to the interrogatories are provided to the parties before the pre-deposition conference. Some of the subjects that should be discussed with the witness are the following:
1. Purpose of deposition.
3. Judgments, guesses, and opinions.
4. Witness's demeanor and manner of speaking.
5. Attention to the lawyer's questions.
6. Giving information voluntarily.
7. Use of extraneous information, such as notes, documents, diagrams, drawing, etc.
8. Right to refuse to answer a question.
There are two types of surveillance: Mobile and Stationary. Mobile surveillance is used to detect moving subjects or objects, for example vehicles, or movable items carried by the subject. Mobile surveillance is most effective when used to track suspects and suspicious vehicles, to lead to the potential crime scenes or places of criminal activity. Mobile surveillance can be conducted on foot or with the help of tailing vehicles, aircraft, thermal imaging and tracking devices. Stationary surveillance is used to monitor fixed subjects or places. Stationary surveillance is most effective when used to observe employee's behavior at work, people's behavior at home, public places, etc. Also, buildings, offices, other public places and private locations can be monitored to detect signs of suspicious or criminal activity. Stationary surveillance can be conducted by direct observation, or with the help of various visual, audio, and video devices. The following are the details that should be mentioned in an accurate vehicle description:
1. Type - sedan, two door, four door, pickup truck, convertible, SUV, van, mini van, trailer, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle.
2. Size - large, medium, small.
3. Color - precise hue, dark or light, custom paint jobs, decorations.
4. Year - in increments of ten, although might be difficult to determine.
5. Make and model - domestic or foreign, for example Ford....
6. License plate number.
7. Condition - old, new, excellent, good, fair, poor, junk.
8. Peculiar characteristics - dents, scratches, shattered windshields, corrosion, missing parts, tires, custom accessories, interior, clean or littered.
The term hearsay refers to unverified information, rumors, secondhand statements, etc. Hearsay implies that the information has not been obtained directly by the witness, but was told to the witness by someone else who is not present in court and cannot be questioned. The term hearsay applies to verbal and written statements. Hearsay is generally not admitted in court for the following reasons:
1. The person who originally made the statement is not present in court and cannot be put under oath.
2. The original author of the statement cannot be cross-examined.
3. It is impossible to observe the author's demeanor.
4. Errors might occur while information is passed from one person to another.
5. In some cases, courts make exceptions to the hearsay rule and consider these statements admissible. The following are some of the exceptions: Dying declarations, spontaneous declarations, former testimony, past recollection recorded, business records, confessions and admissions.
There are three types of evidence that can be admitted in court:
1. Testimony of witnesses - courtroom statements made by individuals who observed, heard, or recalled anything related to any aspect of the crime or incident and are willing to share this knowledge with the court. The witnesses must pass the rule of competence in order to testify in court.
2. Documentary evidence - any written, audio, visual, or video documentation related to the investigation, for example, letter, emails, audio recordings, photographs, video tapes, etc.
3. Physical evidence - tangible objects such as weapons, objects containing fingerprints, bloodstains, fiber, etc. collected during the crime scene processing, or during subsequent stages of the investigation.
Due diligence investigation is a term that refers to an investigation that is used to verify and uncover information on acquisitions and mergers, client representations, personal and corporate debt collections, insurance underwriting, intellectual property, business or real property sales, etc. The purpose of due diligence investigations is to determine if the plaintiff can collect in case litigation is pursued, and to estimate the potential collection. The main method employed in due diligence investigations is a review of financial history which can be facilitated through investigative research, workplace interviews, and searches. In corporate due diligence investigations business transactions, corporate purchases, and other business activity is examined. The main objective is to assess a person's or a corporation's means against their ability. Sometimes it is necessary to user international affiliates as the investigation may extend beyond the territory of the US. A witness of this type should be made aware of the fact that opposing counsel, the court, and the jury may not want to know everything that the witness knows and is willing to share. Still, it might be difficult to control the witness, especially during the recollection of a particular set of facts in which the witness believes regardless of what other evidence might indicate. Often, investigating officers, experts, eye witnesses, and clients who know just a few facts set to impress the opposing counsel, the judge and the jury with their knowledge, and it may be difficult to dissuade them from their crusade. In these cases, it is safer not to call these "know it all" witnesses unless their testimony presents the essence of the claim or is not available from another witness. Both lay witness and expert witness may express their opinions during a testimony; the difference is the matters on which they can express their opinions. A lay witness may express his/her opinion on matters which can be commonly observed and which do not require specific professional knowledge, just common sense and logic. The following observations may be supported by a lay witness: color, age, race, sex, weight, height, size, nationality, language, emotional state, speed, intoxication. An expert witness may express opinions on matters which require special education, training, skills, or experience in science, trade, or art. Expert witnesses possess knowledge or practice skills at a level no common among ordinary individuals. Before testifying, expert witnesses must prove their expertise. Examples of matters on which expert witness may express opinion include physical and mental health, technical conditions of vehicles, firearms, equipment, etc. Business records are any form of memoranda, reports, records, or data compilations, documenting acts, events, conditions, opinions, or diagnoses, made by a person with the knowledge of the conducted business activity. For a business record to be admissible in court, it must be proven that it was the regular practice of that business activity to make the memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, as shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witness. Trustworthiness of the method or circumstances of preparation must also be proven. The term "business" used in this explanation refers to the business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, conducted for profit or not. An example of business record would be a registry of quests checking in and out of a hotel. 1. Completeness - a report should cover all aspects of the investigation in detail. While reading the report, the audience, the client, or the supervisor, should be able to visualize events, people, or objects described. A complete report should include negative as well as positive results.
2. Conciseness - a report should cover only those details that are necessary for understanding the course of the investigation. Technicalities, complex clauses, and other cluttering elements should be omitted.
3. Clearness - a report should be written in a clear language. Short descriptive sentences should be used, neutral wording, correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
4. Correctness - a report should give an accurate account of events. Opinions, biased interpretations, experiences should be omitted. Only verified factual information should be presented.
5. Courteousness - a report should present information in an objective manner. The investigator should not attempt to judge anyone, or express his/her subjective opinion.
1. Review the notes taken at the crime scene, during interviews, interrogations, or surveillance.
2. Make a list of facts that must be included in the report.
3. Add ideas, such descriptions, details, to each fact.
4. Write the first draft, either by hand, or using a word processor based on the idea cluster. At this stage, focus on writing down all the facts that must be documented in the report. Do not pay attention to wording, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and other small things.
5. Read your draft and revise it focusing on the main idea and adding details omitted in the first draft.
6. Revise the second draft concentrating on the wording and structure of the report.
7. Edit your report for spelling, syntax, grammar, and punctuation.
8. Write an executive summary briefly presenting the report in one paragraph.
During the crime scene processing the investigator should attempt to determine the presence of accelerants (substances that activate and speed up the fire). Thorough examination of debris at the crime scene may reveal the presence of gasoline, explosive, fuel oil, and other substances or devices that may have been used to start the fire. Preserving the evidence at the scene of fire proves to be difficult because firefighters and medical personnel may destroy the evidence while making the efforts to stop the fire and rescue the victims. It is important to discover the point of origin of fire and determine the direction of the fire by examining the burning patterns on the walls, floor, and furniture. The main goal of the fire scene processing is to identify the incendiary material, such as gas, electric appliances, wiring, papers, clothing, cigarettes, candles, matchsticks, etc. While collecting photographic evidence at the traffic accident scene it is important to follow these guidelines:
1. Take photos of the overall scene, from points of approach of all involved vehicles to the point of impact;
2. Photograph exact positions of all vehicles, injured persons, and objects involved in the accident;
3. Take close-ups of each point of impact on each vehicle, and damage to real property, if any;
4. Photograph road defects, obstructions on the pavement;
5. Take close-ups of the damage to each vehicle involved, from exterior and interior;
6. Take medium shots of skid marks;
7. Photograph debris, such as glass, tire tracks, pieces of metal and plastic.
1. Consideration of the zones of privacy. The highest zone is the person's clothing, immediate possessions, such as briefcases, purses, backpacks, vehicles. The medium zone is the person's immediate work area, such as the desk, the cubicle, the office. The lowest zone is the larger work area, including the floor, the building, and the parking lot.
2. Consideration of the risks. The higher is the zone of privacy, the higher is the risk of illegal invasion of privacy. The highest zones imply the highest expectations of privacy.
3. Consideration of the reasons for invading privacy. The more compelling the evidence is, the more reasons the investigator has to invade even the highest zone of privacy.
4. Consideration of the need for surveillance. If the employer's need to observe the suspected employee's behavior outweighs the reasonable expectation of privacy, invasion of privacy is legally justified.
Computer forgery is a crime that involves alteration of data on electronically stored documents. Cases of computer forgery include falsification of identification documents, for instance driver's licenses, resident cards, passports, visas; financial documents such as checks, loans, invoices, bank statements, credit card statements; property papers, for example titles, ownership documents, mortgages. Modern computer software and hardware allows even an amateur to copy, modify, create, and produce almost any document. The quality of the forged documents may vary depending on the equipment used and the level of protection on the original. Some of the falsified copies are very hard to detect, while others can be spotted by an untrained individual. Alternative conflict resolution methods can be used to resolve the following cases:
a. Commercial and labor disputes, such as property disputes, small scale frauds, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, etc;
b. Divorce actions;
c. Motor vehicle tort claims, such as accidents, property right violation, etc;
d. Medical malpractice tort claims, such as misdiagnose, negligence, etc.
Main advantages of the alternative conflict resolution methods, such as conciliation, mediation, and arbitration, include:
1. Low cost - it is not necessary for the conflicting parties to pay high attorney and court fees;
2. Short processing time - no need to wait for the long litigation process;
3. Easy execution - no need to fill out multiple papers, collect and submit numerous documents.
Clark and Holinger's studies of workplace show that the most influential factors in employee theft deterrence are the following: 1) perceived certainty; 2) perceived severity; 3) age; 4) gender. Perceived certainty is a level of risk of punishment or apprehension the deviant employee expects in response to his/her acts. If the employee is aware of the imminent punishment from management, peers, or third party investigators, he or she is less likely to engage in theft. Perceived severity is the level of punishment following the act of larceny. The sanctions against a deviant employee in an organizational setting might include peer ostracism, management reprimand, dismissal, and, ultimately police notification. Age is not marked as a substantial factor in workplace theft deterrence, however, is has been noted that employees under 25 tend to underestimate the risk of apprehension and punishment. Gender is a significant factor in larceny deterrence as females are less likely to be involved in deviant acts, especially after a verbal sanction. Males are more willing to take higher punishment risks. The following are the guidelines for collecting, marking, and packing contaminated clothing evidence:
1. Collection - contaminated clothing must be collected with care in order not to lose any trace materials, including debris, blood, hair, fibers, powder burns, semen, etc.
2. Marking - clothing must be marked with a string tag containing all related information, such as location, date, time, complaint number, description, officer's identification.
3. Packing - garments must be packed only when dry; contaminated parts must not be cut through; each item of clothing must be wrapped in individual dry plastic evidence bags which should be labeled with information related to the crime, such as location, date, time, complaint number, officer's identification.
The following are the guidelines for collecting, marking, and packing glass evidence:
1. Fragments - must be collected by the edge of larger pieces, flat surfaces must not be touched, smudges must not be removed, surfaces must be checked for latent prints; each piece must be packed in cotton or soft tissue paper and placed in a proper container labeled "fragile"; container must be marked with all related information, such as location, date, time, complaint number, officer's identification.
2. Particles - must be collected with tweezers with taped ends or brushed onto heavy paper; must be packed in cotton or soft tissue paper and placed in a proper container labeled "fragile"; container must be marked with all related information, such as location, date, time, complaint number, officer's identification.
The following are the guidelines for collecting, marking, and packing arson or fire evidence:
1. Liquids - must be left in original container which should be examined for fingerprints, then, must be removed from original container; must be marked with a label placed on outside of original container or proper container, label must contain location, date, time, complaint number, officer's identification; must be packed in a four ounce metal container secured with a masking tape signed by the officer.
2. Ashes and other debris - must be collected with tweezers with taped ends or brushed onto heavy paper; must be marked with a label placed on outside of original container or proper container, label must contain location, date, time, complaint number, officer's identification; must be packed in a sealed clean and dry container.
Surveillance is a process of monitoring the subject's behavior where the subject may be a person, a group of people, an object, a location, or a process. Surveillance can be mobile or stationary; conducted with or without the help of technology, such as automobiles, aircraft, and various visual, audio and video devices. Surveillance can be continuous, that is, continue for a long period of time, usually 24 hours a day, or it can be periodic, that is, conducted during specific periods of time. Surveillance can have different levels of intensity. The purpose of surveillance in the investigation is to obtain corroborative information to confirm suspicions and potentially identify the suspect. Surveillance can also be used as a preventive method. The following types of investigations may require surveillance: relationship (cheating), child custody, worker's compensation and insurance claims, employee theft, bounty hunting. The following areas should be searched for signs of employee theft:
1. Employee lockers - may reveal signs of substance abuse, gambling, or theft.
2. Work areas - desks, filing cabinets, and boxes should be searched for signs of falsified documents and altered records.
3. Secured areas - security rooms and cages should be inspected as they are suitable areas to hide signs of theft.
4. Restrooms - toilet tanks, ventilation ducts. waste baskets, plumbing access doors, and shelves should be examined for wrapping materials of stolen items and signs of substance abuse.
5. Full case areas - warehouse areas where full cases are kept; should be checked for fullness.
6. Concealed and hard to reach areas - stairwells, elevator pits, roots, ventilation ducts, and other concealed places should be examined for signs of theft.
Sexual harassment is defined as an explicitly sexual, repetitive act that is unsolicited and unwelcome by the victim. Before starting a sexual harassment investigation, the investigator must make sure that the employer was aware of the occurrence of this act and did not take any counteraction. Methods of investigating sexual harassment include surveillance of the alleged perpetrator, interviews of co-workers and management, interviews of the victim, and an interrogation of the alleged perpetrator. The investigator should attempt to persuade the perpetrator to admit his/her misconduct during the interrogation. As soon as all the necessary information has been obtained, the investigator should present his/her findings in a report. The report will aid the management in determining the occurrence of the sexual harassment act, collecting further information for the pertinent employment decision, deciding on a disciplinary act or litigation, reducing damages brought by the complaint, and preventing future acts. Shoplifting, or retail theft, is theft of retail merchandise in a shop, store, or other retail establishment, by a perpetrator posing as a customer. Shoplifters are divided in several categories: a) amateurs b) juvenile c) professional d) kleptomaniacs e) drug and alcohol addicts. The reasons for shoplifting include: Impulse, peer pressure, desperation, revenge, or behavioral disorder. Shoplifters may present the following statements as rationalization for their actions:
1. Shoplifting is borrowing, not stealing.
2. Everybody does it.
3. Shoplifting is morally correct.
4. Shoplifting is a reward for the job.
5. Shoplifting is a legal political act in a social class struggle.
Most of the shoplifters are amateurs, although there are professional shoplifters who are more skilled and therefore more difficult to catch.
Electronic sources are any sources of information that exist only in electronic form, such as computer file, database, web page. The Internet is the most accessible electronic source that can instantly provide and sort a large amount of data. To conduct successful Internet research, one must know how to use a search engine. The following are the general rules for using a search engine:
1. Choose a search engine that suits your needs best. Answers.com is best for commercial information, Google is better for academic information, Yahoo People search is best for finding personal data.
2. Use a URL restriction option to limit the search to websites with specific URL, such as .gov, .edu, or .org.
3. Use quotation marks around the key words to ensure that the search engine only displays results with these words.
4. Use Boolean operators, that is, the words AND, OR, NOT to narrow down your search.
People finders are websites which serve as directories for locating individuals by name, address, phone number, and other data. Most of the large search engines, such as Yahoo, Lycos, AOL, etc, have phone directories, white and yellow pages. There are a number of independent comprehensive people search engines, such as PeopleFinder.com, Addresses.com, USA-People-Search.com, Infospace.com, Anywho,com, Locateme.com, etc. The sites provide initial search for free but charge for reports. For example, at PeopleFinder.com it is possible to conduct a people search, background check, criminal check, property search, marriage, divorce, and death records search. The initial search brings a list of records indicated as available; then there is a possibility to purchase a record. The databases of these sites are based on existing phone books and address listings; therefore if the person's phone number or address is not listed it is impossible to find this person through these websites. The following are the types of state government sources and documents available from them:
1. Attorney General - records documenting efforts in the areas of criminal justice, civil enforcement, and consumer protection; functions of the state offices in charge of these areas.
2. Bureau of Vital Statistics - birth, marriage, and death certificates, adoption papers.
3. Department of Motor Vehicles - information of driver's license issuance, vehicle registrations, titles, transfers, sales, emission inspection reports, copies of photographs.
4. Regulatory Agencies, such as Bureau of Professional and Vocational Standards of Department of Licensing, Controller/Treasurer, Department of Agriculture, Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Natural Resources, Gambling Commission/Horse Racing Board, Secretary of State, Department of Corrections, Liquor Commissions, Lottery Commissions, Securities Commissions, Utility Commissions - various activity licenses, operation permits, tax information.
The following are the types of local government sources and documents available from them:
1. Building Inspector - blueprints, plans, permits, inspection reports.
2. Coroner/Medical Examiner - coroner register.
3. Court Clerk - civil court files, depositions, divorce complaints, probate indexes.
4. Health Department - death certificates, property inspection reports, local health problem reports.
5. Human Resources Department - employment histories, efficiency reports, disciplinary acts records, salary histories.
6. Public Schools - student records, grade books, student and teacher biographies.
7. Recorder's Office - real estate transactions, mortgages, wills, official bonds, bankruptcy papers, veteran status papers, marriage licenses and certificates.
8. Registrar of Voters - affidavit of registration with personal and demographic information.
9. Regulatory Agencies - applications for business licenses.
10. Surveyor - maps of elevations, rights of way, easement, etc.
11. Tax Assessor - maps of real property.
1. Department of Agriculture - company contacts with the agency, records of recipients of financial benefits, data on import and export of agricultural commodities, animals, and plants, crop yield reports and business profits, plans of property, loan applications and financial statements, data on ownership, management, and operation of farms that participate in USDA programs.
2. Department of Commerce - documents on international trade, economic statistic, records of patents and trademarks.
3. Department of Defense - military records, such as pay, dependents, allotments, deposits, financial papers and medical histories of military personnel.
4. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - electric utility and gas company reports, license and permit information.
5. Food and Drug Administration - food and drug company annual reports, license and permit information, FDA investigation reports.
Polygraph, or the lie detector, is a mechanical device that takes body measurements, such as pulse, blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate, and skin conductivity, to determine if the subject is lying. The use of polygraph for obtaining information is based on the belief that lying is combined with stress which manifests itself in certain body reactions. A polygraph can be used to confirm subjects' statements, verify information provided by other subjects, direct the investigation, and obtain a confession. Suspects who have been subjected to a polygraph test may choose to make a confession when notified that they fail the test. Or, they may confess as soon as they are notified of the imminent test. The following are federal criminal statutes concerning financial crime:
1. 18 USC 215 - prohibits corruption and bribery, makes it illegal for officers, directors, employees, agents, or attorneys of financial institutions to solicit, demand or accept anything of value from any person.
2. 18 USC 641 - prohibits embezzlement, stealing, purloin, or any other unauthorized use of public funds, property, or records.
3. 18 USC 656 - prohibits embezzlement, theft, or misapplication by bank officer or employee.
4. 18 USC 1344 - prohibits financial institute fraud.
5. 18 USC 1001 - prohibits knowingly making general falsified statements.
6. 18 USC 1005 - prohibits officers and employees of financial institutes from making false entries, including material omissions.
7. 18 USC 1014 - prohibits fraudulent loan and credit applications, renewals and discounts, crop insurance.
8. 18 USC 1341 and 1343 - prohibit fraud by mail, wire, radio, or television.
9. 18 USC 2 and 371 - prohibit general offences and frauds.
Before starting a computer crime investigation, it is necessary to conduct a computer search. However, it is important to know all the details about the computer system itself in order to conduct an efficient search. Therefore, the investigator should collect as much information as possible about the computer system. The following data is required:
1. System configuration - stand-alone, LAN, WAN, dial-up connection, other connection.
2. Type of hardware - CPU.
3. Storage capacity, memory capacity.
4. Types, versions, and brands of installed software.
5. Type of modem, speed, bandwidth.
6. Security systems - password protection, encryption, access control.
7. Presence of booby traps - programs that delete information in an unauthorized access has been detected.
8. Physical location of the system.
Methods employed in computer crime investigation, which are a combination of traditional investigative methods and high tech methods, include the following:
1. Computer search - determine if the computer is the tool or the object of the crime; delete sensitive data if necessary; install a booby trap to detect an unauthorized access; determine the need to keep the system in operation; search access controlled systems; use password identification programs.
2. Media search - search for hidden files and invisible disk space; read graphic files and convert them into raster; search electronic communication, such as email, saved IMS messages, etc; create a bitstream image of the system.
3. External inspection - search the area where the computer is located paying attention to unmarked disks, printouts, and peripheral devices, such as routers, printer servers, repeaters, etc.
The following are the elements of the statement format:
1. Heading - starts with the confirmation that the subject is fully aware that the statement is given voluntarily and no coercion is applied; continues with the subject's personal data, such as name, date and place of birth, address, marital status, education; ends with the information on the incident, such as type of incident, date, time, location, and description of the incident, and introduction of all the parties.
2. Body - contains the accurate chronological account of events seen, heard, and recollected by the subject. If the statement is obtained in a question and answer method, the exact questions and responses must be provided in the body.
3. Ending - contains the hand written acknowledgement of the subject verifying the present statement. Signatures of the subject, the investigator, and witnesses should be placed here. Corrections should be authorized by the subject's initials.
The subject identification form which is distributed before the surveillance operation should contain the following information:
1. Full name and alias.
2. Date of birth.
3. Phone numbers, such as home, work, and cell.
4. Home and work address.
5. Work schedule, that is, daily hours, break hours, etc.
6. All possible routes to and from work, and to and from home.
7. Vehicle description including type, color, and license plate number.
8. Description of the subject including height,weight, build, color of eyes, hair, race, age.
9. Habits such as smoking, drinking, drugs.
10. Driving habits, including speeding.
11. Associates, such as friends, co-workers, customers, service providers.
12. Places the subject visits frequently, for example, bars, stores, restaurants, hotels, public offices.
13. Objectives of surveillance.
14. Warning of any dangerous environments or activities.
15. Requirements for restricted communication.
Investigative resources can be defined as any human, material, and financial resources necessary to successfully start, progress, and complete an investigation. Human resources include investigators, surveillants and their aides, case managers, subject matter experts, secretaries, and communication specialists, and other personnel directly or indirectly involved in the investigation. Material resources include surveillance equipment, such as video and photo cameras, audio recorders, vehicles, computers and software, crime scene processing equipment, such as containers, chemical substances, etc; Interview and interrogation equipment, such as office space, audio recorder, etc. Financial resources include any monetary funds necessary for continuing the investigation. Financial resources may be cash for vehicle fuel, payment for long-distance phone calls, compensation to informants. Preparation phase of the investigation begins with determining the type of investigation, such as employment background inquiry, financial frauds, loss prevention, sexual harassment, computer crime, employee theft, violence in the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse, arson, larceny, traffic accidents, battery and assault, relationship investigations. As soon as the type is determined it is necessary to select the investigative methods. For example, for larceny, arson, and traffic accidents, crime scene processing and lab analysis of the evidence are primary methods. For employment background inquiries , research is the essential method. For financial frauds, loss prevention, and relationship investigations surveillance is the most fruitful method. After selection of the methods, human, material, and financial investigative resources should be allocated. Private investigators in retail and insurance settings are responsible for writing property reports. The purpose of property reports is to document internal and external pilferage, to catalogue, itemize, and describe the stolen property. A property report may contain the following information:
1. Name of victim
2. Complaint number
3. Victim's address, phone number, other contact information
4. Address and date of crime
5. Date of report
1. Itemized description of stolen property including quantity, make, model, shape, color, size, classification, serial number, age, monetary value
2. Victim's statement, signature, and date
3. Victim's remarks
4. Instructions for completing the form
1. Reporting officer identification
2. Date of report
3. Identification of reviewer
Offense reports, or general crime reports, present the first record of examination and investigation or criminal cases. These reports require many details and can be lengthy. Sometimes supplemental reports are written to conclude the main report. An offense report may contain the following information:
Victims's name, complaint number, victim's address, telephone number, and other contact information, victim's race, sex, age, location, date and time of crime, identity and contact information of reporting person, date and time the crime was reported, classification of crime.
Details on location of crime, details on classification of crime, witnesses' names and contact information, missing persons' names and descriptions, vehicles involved count and description, property missing count and description, narrative account.
Reporting officers' identity; status of investigation, supervisors approval, date.
The purpose of the missing person report is to collect as much information as possible in order to answer the public and private law enforcement concern and possibly provide a lead for solving the case. A missing person report may contain the following:
Message key indicating disability, juvenile, endangered, involuntary, or victim; missing person's name, race, sex, age, date and place of birth, date of emancipation, height, weight, color of eyes and hair, hair description, skin tone, peculiarities; social security number; other identification numbers; fingerprint classification; operators' license details; last day of contact; blood type; details on circumcision; footprints; vision details; jewelry details; handedness; build; narrative of any other relevant information.
Reporting officer identification, date and time, supervisor approval
The investigator's notes should record the following details:
1. Weather conditions.
2. Lighting conditions.
3. Suspect's or victim's clothing.
4. Location and description of roads.
5. Medical personnel at the scene.
6. Witness, victim, and suspect statements.
7. Documented activities of forensic technicians, photographers, sketchers, etc.
8. Addresses and phone numbers of witnesses, victims, and other important persons.
9. Record or alterations at the crime scene.
10. Exact location of the crime scene.
11. Description of the crime scene conditions.
12. Detailed descriptions of real evidence, including marks, identification, date and time, exact location, custody conditions.
13. Descriptions of photographs including photographer's name, time and date, setting, conditions of photography, technical details.
The following key words are used in note taking:
Who - may refer to the client, suspect, witness, victim. All the information related to any of these individuals should be recorded in this category.
What - may refer to objectives of the investigation, crime or incident, circumstances of the crime, evidence, documents, property.
Where - refers to location of the crime, place where the victim or stolen property was found, location of a surveillance operation.
When - refers to time and date of the crime. The time recorded should be as specific as possible and include day, month, year, hour, and minutes. In some cases season may also be indicated.
How - may refer to the manner the crime was committed, the way the victim sought protection, or the manner the future incidents may be prevented.
Why - refers to the motive of the crime, as well as motives of the witnesses or other subjects.
The purpose of traffic accident reports is to collect as much information as possible for subsequent investigation. Many traffic accident reports look like checklists. A traffic accident report may contain the following information:
1. Date, time, and location of accident.
1. Name and contact information on each driver.
2. Each driver's license number and state of issuance.
3. Each driver's date of birth.
4. Each vehicle owner's name and contact information.
5. Each vehicle's type, year, make, model, color.
6. Each vehicle's registration number and state.
7. Each vehicle's insurance name and address.
8. Passenger's names, dates of births and contact information.
9. Statements pertaining to the circumstance of the accident.
10. Witnesses' names, age, and contact information.
11. Injured persons' names, age, contact information.
12. Description of injuries.
13. Injured persons' insurance name and address.
1. Reporting officer's identification.
There are several types of evidence; the most essential types are real evidence, direct evidence, and circumstantial evidence. Real evidence refers to tangible objects, such as vehicles, weapons, substances, stolen property, clothes, etc. For example, a gun, drugs, a handkerchief, all can be classified as real evidence. Real evidence must be labeled and stored correctly in order to be admitted in court. Direct evidence refers to evidence that was obtained through five senses, this is sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. For example, a witness's account of events is direct evidence. Direct evidence must be documented in order to be admitted in court. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that is based on assumption. It is not verified and usually cannot stand up in court. Case management is executed through the following activities:
1. Note taking - recording the facts observed as the crime scene, during surveillance, interviews and interrogations.
2. Writing official reports - preparation of documents containing a detailed account of each activity performed during the investigation; for example, interview report, surveillance report, crime scene search report.
3. Maintaining a folder containing all the documents, details, audio and video tapes, reports, and other information related to the investigation.
The following participate in case management activities:
1. Primary investigator and other investigators - write reports, maintain chain of custody, contribute to major information collection.
2. Case manager - administer the case, reviews reports, communicates with other participants.
3. Witnesses - provide statements.
Formalized case management procedures employed in federal law enforcement agencies require police officers to submit Complaint Follow Up report within three days of the receipt of the case. The first line supervisor reviews the case with the investigator within seven days and determines if the case should be continued or closed. If the case is closed, a recommendation for closing must be submitted. If the case is continued, the Case Folder must be established. The folder should contain the Complaint Follow Up report, photographs, lab reports, rap sheets, index sheets for miscellaneous items, investigative plan, property clerk's invoice, court complaint forms, investigative work sheets. The supervisor must review the case between the eighth and the twenty first day and maintain the individual detective case log for each investigator assigned. Then, the supervisor establishes the Pattern Investigation Folder which is later maintained by the investigator assigned. The supervisor reviews the investigation again within thirty days and determines whether to close or continue the case. To keep track of the time spent on billable tasks, the following should be included in the time and expense report:
1. Client's name, address, and phone number - serves as client identification.
2. Title of the operation performed - indicates the billable task.
3. Billing office area number and client number - serves as client billing identification.
4. Issuing office are number - serves as investigator billing identification.
5. Description, date, time, hours, and rate of services provided - show the client that the time and money were spent on the tasks related to the investigation.
6. Local and business fares - shows local expenses.
7. Telephone, auto, meals, and lodging expenses - should be supported with receipts.
8. An itemized list of other expenses - should also be supported with receipts.
9. Calculated grand total - show the sum of all expenses.
10. Name and signature of the handling official - serves as confirmation.
Fees and expenses should be recorded and kept track of in fact sheets, such as preliminary fact sheet and ongoing fact sheet. All costs should be entered beforehand in order to estimate the total and notify the client of anticipated expenditures. The preliminary fact sheets should contain the following:
1. A list of tasks to consider, such as initial client and witness interviews, preparation of memos, review and analysis of public documents.
2. Start and end date.
4. Costs to consider, such as copying, document processing, research, investigator fees, travel.
The ongoing fact sheets should contain the same information, although the list of tasks to consider is different. For example, follow up client and witness interviews, review client documentation, review, analysis, and organization of public documents.
1. Confusion of role and duty by private security investigators - concerns loyalty to clients, employers, and court.
2. Violation of privacy - in surveillance operations and undercover investigations.
3. Disclosure of confidential information - obtained during surveillance, undercover investigations, or recorded in victims' and witnesses' statements.
4. Use of unethical methods, such as deception, intimate relationships, coercion, to obtain information - lies, threats, and intimidation during interviews and interrogation; intimacy with witnesses.
5. Temptation to entrap suspects - base on intrusion of emotions into the investigative process.
6. Falsification of expenses - exaggeration of costs in order to gain larger profits.
7. Managers' failure to take responsibility for consequences of undercover operations - unethical methods uses as well as emotional condition of the agents may be ignored.
8. Unethical treatment of informants - abuse, coercion of those who are close to being involved in illegal acts.
1. Suspect's name, address, phone number, social security number, sex, race, gender, height, weight, color of eyes and hair, date and place of birth, occupation.
2. Complaint number.
3. Weapon serial number and description.
4. Date and time when the crime occurred and was reported.
5. Description of formal charges.
6. UCR classification.
1. Location of arrest.
2. Description of the location.
3. Day and time of arrest.
4. Details on resistance.
5. Breathalyzer reading.
6. Details on vehicle, if involved.
7. Information of witnesses, victims, and co-suspects.
8. Duration of arrest, transportation, processing, interviewing, arraignment, commitment, implied consent law, release.
9. A narrative account of the arrest procedure.
10. Identification of transporting officer, arresting officer, booking officer, supervisor.
11. Officer's observations.
12. Reason for stop of vehicle.
13. Field test.
14. Chemical test.
Daily reports are filled out to document daily activities, such as time of arrival and departure, and any actions taken throughout the day. Daily reports are most often used in security departments and should contain the following information:
1. Time and date of the shift.
2. Officer's identification.
3. Time and date of arrival and departure.
4. Identification of the relieving officer.
5. Number of communication device.
6. Checklist for details, such as fire hazards, smoking violations, open or broken doors or windows, open or broken safes or vaults, trespassing, suspicious activity, attempted and committed thefts, property damage, parking violations, safety hazards, blocked exits, extinguished security lights.
7. Identification and signature of inspector.
8. Date and time of inspection.
If a private investigation agency is involved in protection and prevention of terrorism, the investigators must be prepared to write reports on search for explosives. A bomb search report may contain the following:
Warnings, location and description of the area searched, location of the found suspicious object, description of the suspicious object, sketch of the object.
Presence of the ticking timer, smell of burning fuse, visibility of trip wires or booby traps, exact time of finding, sketch of the object's position, accessibility to the object, sketch of the route to the object, additional search results, evacuation details, presence of people near the suspicious object, count of people at site, presence of valuable objects, equipment near the suspicious object.
Name of reporting officer, date and time.
Review reports are written on a regular basis, such as weekly, monthly, and yearly in order to document and maintain the records of activities occurred during a specific period of time. The purpose of review reports is to measure efficiency and promote accountability among the agency personnel. A review report may contain the following information:
1. Date and time.
2. Period of review.
3. Categories of crimes and incidents, such as theft, missing property, damage to property, equipment tampering, presence of foreign objects, concealed shortage, diversion, sabotage, crank phone calls and letters, vehicle accidents, employee problems, assault, battery, substance abuse, larceny from vehicle, warehouse and truck checks.
4. Identification of investigations continued and closed.
The following are the types of preformatted reports used in case management:
1. Incident reports - contain identification of victims and witnesses, details of crime or incident, identification or description of perpetrator, identification or description of property taken or damaged. Incident reports are written by the first responding officer.
2. Follow up reports - document each action in the course of the investigation, contain interviews, interrogations, crime scene searches, investigative research. Follow up reports are written by the primary investigator, although other assigned members of the investigative team contribute.
3. Property reports - contain information on any property collected or seized during the investigation.
4. Lab reports - written by an investigator to request lab analysis of collected evidence, or, written by a lab technician presenting the results of the analysis.
5. Supervisory review reports - written by the investigator's supervisor upon the review of the case, may contain recommendation to close or continue the case.
In order to make accurate observations, the investigator should continually train him/herself in the following activities:
1. Developing full awareness and alertness to everything that is going on around him/her.
2. Paying full attention to even the minutest details.
3. Developing the habit of observing details and not generalities.
4. Developing an accurate sense of time, distance, speed, direction, age.
5. Developing the ability to distinguish between colors, hues, tones, and shades, as well as intensity and saturation of color.
6. Developing the ability to visualize events, objects, and persons.
7. Developing the ability to listen carefully and interpret sounds in various settings.
8. Developing the ability to identify smells.
9. Developing the ability to distinguish between various textures.
1. Information collection - gathering facts about the subject's habits, daily routines, work schedule, people he/she meets, transportation he/she uses, clothes he/she wears, places he/she visits, etc.
2. Emotional preparation - patience, leadership skills, presence of mind, ability to make decisions on the spot.
3. Physical needs preparation - equipping oneself for long hours without the ability to leave for food, drink or toilet.
4. Cover story preparation - preparing a disguise story if someone gets suspicious.
5. Equipment set up - inspection and installation of all the equipment to be used in surveillance.
6. Temporary headquarters or telephone base establishment - setting up a temporary base for debriefing in case of surveillance termination or any other reason.
7. Police notification - informing the local police about the planned surveillance.
8. Blending - disguising oneself to look inconspicuous in the area of surveillance.
9. Convoy awareness - preparing for a possibility of the subject sending a convoy to avoid surveillance.
The following are the details that should be mentioned in an accurate person description:
1. Voice - pitch, accent, intensity.
2. Body scars and marks - location, size, shape.
3. Dress - color, cost, condition.
4. Sex - male or female, disguised or not.
5. Race - Caucasian, african american, native american, hispanic, asian, etc.
6. Age - in increments of five.
7. Height - within two inches.
8. Build - emaciated, thin, medium, stocky, obese.
9. Face and head - shape, complexion.
10. Hair - color, hairline location, dyed or not, type of haircut, length.
11. Eyebrows - shape, length, breadth, color.
12. Eyes - size, color, shape, set, contacts, glasses.
13. Nose - width, shape, line of the bridge.
14. Mouth - size, shape, size and color of teeth, fullness of lips.
15. Chin - size, shape, profile.
16. Ears - size, shape.
17. Neck - Length and thickness.
18. Shoulders - square or oblique, narrow or broad.
19. Hands - size, shape, fingers, rings.
Physical sources can be defined as any tangible sources of information, such as printed documents, published public records, books and encyclopedias, magazines, etc. The credibility of the sources can be determined by identifying the author, publisher, existing bias, currency, and relevance of information. Based on these criteria, the following physical sources are considered credible and can be used to obtain information:
1. Documents published by the government - all types of records, regulatory acts, legislative documents, registries.
2. Legal documents - legal files, cases, proceedings, letters.
3. Documents published by federal agencies, such as FDA, USDA, DOD, HHS, FERC.
4. Scientific records - any documents issued by a scientific agency, or a scientific publication.
5. Public education records - student records, grade books, student and teacher biographies.
6. Encyclopedias - Encyclopedia Britannica, the ADAM Medical Encyclopedia.
Competitive intelligence acquisition is a process of collecting, interpreting, and distributing of publicly held information that is essential for the investigation. The process consists of the following steps:
1. Selection - determining intelligence needs and choosing the sources.
2. Collection - obtaining information.
3. Interpretation - analyzing and verifying data, and determining subsequent actions.
4. Distribution - Disseminating findings.
Information must be obtained legally and ethically through open sources, such as officially published documents, news and scholarly publications, court transcripts, libraries, public records, voluntary interviews, authorized onsite observations, web pages open for public access.
Information must not be obtained through covert surveillance, disguised radio transmitters, communication intercepts, and other clandestine illegal or unethical methods.
The following laws can be applied to gray goods investigation and prevention:
1. 18 US Code 1964 - section 336, section 338a, section 338b, section 396e, section 408, section 409, section 419d.
2. 28 US Code 1331 - the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
3. 28 US Code 1332 - diversity of citenship, amount in controversy, costs.
4. 18 US Code 1341 - fines and imprisonment for mail fraud.
5. 18 US Code 1343 - fraud by wire, radio, or television.
6. 18 US Code 2314 - transportation of stolen goods, securities, moneys, fraudulent state tax stamps, or articles used in counterfeiting.
7. 15 US Code 1114 - remedies, infringement, innocent infringement by printers and publishers.
8. 15 US Code 1125 - false designations of origin, false descriptions, dilution.
Computer damage or modification, also sabotage, involves creation and dissemination or destructive computer programs, commonly known as trojan horse, virus, and worm. A computer virus is an executable program that attaches itself to a program or file and spreads from one computer to another, leaving infections. To spread the virus, it is necessary to share the infected files or programs by sending them in an email or through the network. A worm has the ability to replicate itself and travel unaided through file or information transport features on the system. Trojan horse appears to be useful software but does damage, for example, it gives unauthorized access to the system. Destructive computer programs can be targeted at inhibition of network systems, modification, or elimination of data. Computer sabotage is used to eliminate competitors, gain financial benefits, or in terrorist activity. Unauthorized access, which can be gained with the help of a trojan horse program, can be used to cause damage to the system, network crashes, elimination of files, to block authorized users, to steal information, to modify data. In most cases, unauthorized access is gained remotely, so that it is harder to trace the attempt. Username and password login systems are designed to counteract unauthorized access perpetrators, however, experienced perpetrators have the ability to crack even the most complicated password protection systems. The code cracking programs are easily available from many computer expert websites and are regularly updated with the most sophisticated versions. Unauthorized interception of telecommunications, such as emails, phone conversations, etc is also classified as computer unauthorized access crime. The most common motive for this crime is obtaining free services or disguising criminal activity. 1. Verify and report the truth fairly, objectively, and impartially.
2. Do not make false claims in regards to personal qualifications.
3. Maintain professional, moral, and ethical conduct.
4. Treat all subjects with respect.
5. Do not use unethical methods, such as deception, coercion, and intimate relationships to obtain information.
6. Use laws of equity and justice in application to all duties.
7. Be unbiased and unprejudiced to representatives of any racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, political, or any other social group.
8. Do not accept illegal or improper compensation.
9. Do not engage in representation of conflicting parties.
10. Avoid using slander or libel in public criticism of law enforcement, profession, agencies, and officers.
Although the sources of information are the same for private investigators and law enforcement agencies, private investigators have more liberty in accessing confidential records as directed by the client. Private investigators have more time and often more funds to dedicate to detailed research. Also, the purposes of a private investigation may not require the evidence to be admissible in court. However, private investigators are constrained by the Privacy of Information Act prohibiting them from accessing credit histories, banking records, governmental financial records, and police records. Often, telephone company records, employment history, and criminal records are restricted for private investigators. However, if the initiator of the investigator is the employer, many records by become obtainable. The sketches should be made on graph paper using a clipboard, a twelve inch ruler, and a soft leaded pencil. Sketches should not be covered with multiple notes, only those necessary to understand the content. Items depicted on the sketch should be marked on the legend. The legend can indicate such data as items identification, location, description, measurements, distances, etc. A sketch should contain the case number, type of investigation, location, time, and date of the incident, and the investigator's name. A sketch should indicate the location of the incident in relation to the location of the witness. A sketch that is not made to scale should be marked as such.