Expertise in Crime Scene Examination: comparing search strategies of expert and novice Crime Scene Examiners in simulated crime scenes

Christopher Baber, Mark Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
1418 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: The strategies of novice and expert crime scene examiners were compared in searching crime scenes.
Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that experts frame a scene through reconstructing the likely actions of a criminal and use contextual cues to develop hypotheses that guide subsequent search for evidence.
Method: Novice (first-year undergraduate students of forensic sciences) and expert (experienced crime scene examiners) examined two “simulated” crime scenes. Performance was captured through a combination of concurrent verbal protocol and own-point recording, using head-mounted cameras.
Results: Although both groups paid attention to the likely modus operandi of the perpetrator (in terms of possible actions taken), the novices paid more attention to individual objects, whereas the experts paid more attention to objects with “evidential value.” Novices explore the scene in terms of the objects that it contains, whereas experts consider the evidence analysis that can be performed as a consequence of the examination.
Conclusion: The suggestion is that the novices are putting effort into detailing the scene in terms of its features, whereas the experts are putting effort into the likely actions that can be performed as a consequence of the examination.
Application: The findings have helped in developing the expertise of novice crime scene examiners and approaches to training of expertise within this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
JournalHuman Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • crime scene examination
  • expertise
  • own-point recording
  • verbal protocol analysis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Expertise in Crime Scene Examination: comparing search strategies of expert and novice Crime Scene Examiners in simulated crime scenes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this