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How to write a crime scene forensics report

Updated April 17, 2017

Crime scene forensics reports clearly describe everything an investigator or technician encounters at the scene of a crime. Their documentation is intended to help paint a picture of the crime in a clear, methodical and objective manner. It's critical for investigators to remain unbiased and stick to their department's specific documentation protocol, as the report may be used by other law enforcement personnel or in court.

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  1. Explain how you arrived at the scene, including who requested your assistance, the time you received the call and the time you responded to the call.

  2. Provide a brief overview of the circumstances or occurrence that you're responding to.

  3. Follow this example: At 2:00 am, Detective John Doe called asking for assistance in processing a hit and run car accident, involving a 17-year-old female at the corner of Oak and Pine Street.

  4. Provide a thorough description of what you see at the crime scene as you walk through it.

  5. Include any relevant factors like location (heavy traffic), weather, items that appear to be missing or seem strange.

  6. Make sure to follow department protocol; some reporters are asked to log a description of the scene before they walk through it and another one during the walk through itself.

  7. Inspect the scene for any evidence.

  8. List, mark and label every piece of evidence you encounter.

  9. Take pictures and measure the evidence before collecting, bagging and sealing it

  10. Organise all of the evidence obtained at the crime scene and make sure everything is accounted for. .

  11. Record the names of anyone who collected evidence with you and all other individuals who will have a part within the processing stage.

  12. Catalogue all pieces of evidence that are being sent to the lab or elsewhere for further analysis.

  13. Describe any further jobs and tasks that you still need to fulfil for the investigation

  14. Tip

    Be sure to stick to the facts and observation only. No matter what type of crime was committed or any of the parties involved, you must go into the scene with a clear head and not pass any judgments


    If you don't obey all required protocols, the evidence can become contaminated and taint the outcome of the case.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Report forms
  • Camera
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Chalk
  • Evidence bags
  • Labels
  • Evidence tape and markers

About the Author

Serena Spinello holds two master’s degrees and is pursuing her Ph.D. in medical science. She has been a professional writer and researcher for over 10 years and is an active member of the American Medical Writers Association, Academy of Medical Educators, and the National Association of Social Workers.

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