Crime scene investigators, also called forensic scientists or forensic investigators, process crime scenes and gather evidence during a criminal investigation. They typically work for law enforcement agencies, insurance companies or as independent experts.
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Crime scene investigators are charged with investigating crime scenes, collecting and analysing evidence, and testifying in court when needed. They are typically members of law enforcement organisations who have been trained or gone through special certification courses.
In addition to having histories in law enforcement, crime scene investigators often come from technical or scientific backgrounds. Some specialise in specific areas of forensic science and have college or graduate degrees.
Crime scene investigators must be able to collect and analyse evidence and preserve its integrity for the criminal justice process. They often have to operate specialised equipment in a wide range of environments and weather conditions.
Crime scene investigators must be able to work in stressful and sometimes hazardous conditions. They must also be available to respond to a crime scene at any time of day.
As of 2010, the average salary for a forensic scientist is about £32,500 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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