Crime scene kits typically contain the general tools for collecting evidence from a crime scene with minimal risk of contamination. For different professionals involved in crime scene work, such as entomologists or other scientists, their kits will contain specialised items for their given professional fields and needs. There are two primary goals of forensic crime scene kits: collect evidence necessary to solve the crime and avoid contaminating the evidence so it can help solve the crime.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Rubber or latex-free gloves
- Clear plastic, sealable bags
- Tweezers (different sizes)
- Fingerprint kit (brush, contrast powder, clear lifting tape and white cards)
- Camera with zoom
Start with disposable rubber gloves or latex-free gloves. Gloves are always worn when collecting or handling evidence in an effort to reduce contamination of the evidence by fingerprints, skin oils or other compromising possibilities.
Gather supplies to "bag and tag" evidence. One of the most important features of a crime scene kit is necessary tools for collecting evidence and documenting everything. Evidence is collected in individual, sealed bags often made of clear plastic so the contents are visible. Every bag contains only one portion of evidence, and every bag must be clearly labelled with the location (where the evidence was found), what is in the bag (such as hair, soil, weapon), a catalogue number to identify the evidence later and often the name of the person responsible for collecting it. The catalogue numbers are listed in order in a notebook, written with ink (preferably) and including a brief description or notes regarding the evidence in each bag.
Include tweezers, possibly in multiple sizes, to facilitate the evidence gathering process. Tweezers allow evidence collection from tiny areas such as crevices in the floor, wood, carpet or stairs as well as the ability to pick up extremely small or fine evidence such as grains of soil or sand or hairs that may be helpful.
Add a fingerprint kit if desired. Fingerprint kits include a small feather duster or fibreglass brush and a contrast powder (often black, white or both) that allow crime scene units to shake dust on surfaces looking for fingerprints. Clear tape for lifting the dusted fingerprint and white cards for sticking the tape (with fingerprint) on them are also necessary; the cards should include an area to write the location, catalogue number and other information for each print.
Purchase or include a camera with zoom capabilities and a ruler with inches or centimetres clearly marked. Before collecting evidence, pictures are often taken in the different locations to remind crime scene investigators and police about the evidence, where it was in the crime scene and what was nearby. The ruler is used to present a size comparison in the photos, placed alongside evidence such as footprints in sand, dirt or snow or muddy footprints inside a home, as well as for sizing tire marks left behind by a vehicle that had been at the scene.
Place all items inside a bag to keep them neatly stored and separated; you wouldn't want the contrast powder from the fingerprint kit to accidentally spill and mark up everything in the kit. Keep a loose pair of gloves in a top pocket or somewhere easily accessed in case they are needed quickly.
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