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What you need to know about managing a crime scene

Last week, SAPS sent out a directive to all security and responder companies about the importance of maintaining the integrity of a crime scene.

It is a sad but well known fact that most South African’s will at some point be a victim of a crime or crimes.It is a sad but well known fact that most South African’s will at some point be a victim of a crime or crimes.

How you handle and maintain the integrity of the crime scene, if not done correctly, can lead to arrested suspect/s being released and not prosecuted.

This could be due to the scene being tampered with or items missing, which would both lead to the case being dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Every bit of evidence counts at a crime scene!

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The only way to ensure that this does not happen, is to do the following:

(1) Security provider / police – call them first and be sure to request medical back-up if anyone has been injured

(2) Observe – pay attention to what happened and where it happened

(3)  Injuries – take care of any injured persons while considering not tampering and moving evidence

(4)  Secure –  access to the scene and movement around it needs to be limited.  If possible, try to cordon off the area with assistance of others and if indoors, lock doors to scenes

The most valuable clues in a crime scene are often the smallest details/items picked up by the forensic team.

According to the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS) 2018/19 released by Stats SA: only 48% of household incidents are reported to the police.

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