Criminology is the branch of science that deals with crime and the prevention of crime. Forensic science is only part of criminology. Criminology is directly referring to crime and is basically based on scientific investigations. It is one of the challenging fields. Locard is considered the father of modern forensic science and criminology. He created the first crime investigation laboratory in 1910 where he could analyze evidence from crime scenes. Britain is the first country to start forensic criminology.
The first step to stopping crime understands it. This is the essential role, forensic criminologist plays in our justice system and to understand the nature of criminality as a concept.
Major steps in forensic investigation-
• Identification- it is the application of forensic science or “forensic” which means forum or community, and technology to identify specific objects from the trace evidence they leave, often at a crime scene or the scene of an accident.
• Collection- most items of evidence will be collected in paper containers such as packets, envelopes, and bags. Liquid items can be transported in non-breakable, leak-proof containers. Arson evidence is usually collected in airtight, clean metal cans.
• Preservation– If evidence is not properly preserved and stored prior to forensic analysis or testing, it may be deteriorated, be destroyed, or be devalued as a source of information.
• Examination- It is a top to toe examination looking for injuries and taking samples that may be used as evidence in an investigation and any subsequent prosecution. A forensic examination can be very time-consuming but is vitally important.
• Analysis- It can be defined as a detailed process of detecting, investigating, and documenting the reason, course, and consequences of a security incident or violation of state and organization laws.
• Presentation- It can be defined as a formal written report on the identification of relevant information. Ultimately, the report and relevant information will be viewed by human resources, executives, law enforcement, juries, lawyers, and judges.
• It is helpful in determining the cause of death by examining the post-mortem changes, blunt injuries, burns, and scalds on the body, and the scene of death. If it’s a sudden natural death, the case is investigated by the coroner or a medical examiner.
• Forensic analysis is used to investigate accident cases and to determine their cause by analyzing the vehicle condition, tire and other marks, eyewitnesses, and calculating the vehicle’s speed.
• The alcohol content in a human being can be determined by analyzing the blood and other body fluids like saliva, urine, etc.
• It also includes anthropology and helps in sex determination, sexual assault, and semen persistence.
• Other useful aspects of forensic analysis include fire investigation, forgery, lie detection, footprint marks, voice analysis, digital imaging, and photography.
Despite numerous advantages of forensic science, there are some ethical, legal, and knowledge constraints involved in forensic analysis.
• Scientific analysis consumes a lot of time because of which the verdict is delayed.
• The evidence is prone to manipulation, which may end up in an unrighteous verdict.
• The evidence cannot be accessible at all times.
• Misconceptions and ignorance can mislead the experimental analysis.
• It requires precise and accurate analysis. Even if a minor error occurs in the analysis, it may result in the wrong figure.
• Teeth are typically the most reliable identifiers when it comes to identifying a corpse. Teeth are bones, and bones last a long time so that’s why teeth are typically used to identify bodies-they are correct around 93%of the time.
• Hair roots can help, identify gender. A hair found at a crime scene can be very helpful in terms of evidence, but only the hair root contains a person’s DNA and that can help to determine a person’s gender.
• Testing takes a lot longer than what’s portrayed in your favorite TV show. Truth be told, it can take up to two or three weeks for DNA test results to come back from the lab for forensic results.
• ‘Bugs’ can help to solve a crime. While bugs can’t actually solve a crime, investigators are able to look inside an insect’s stomach and is able to determine how long a body has been decomposing.
• ‘Glitter’ is perfect when it comes to evidence. It’s easily transferable from one person to another. Since it’s something not so obvious, suspects probably won’t wash it off immediately. If it even comes off their bodies at all, it’s easy to find those glitters with the shine of flashlights.
Criminology is a relatively new field in India. The need for professionals in forensic science is high in demand in India as the crime rate is growing and there are numerous cases that require thorough research work and analysis. The government and private organizations need professionals who can help to assist them in conducting forensic analysis and help them solve crimes. Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 2500 openings for forensic science technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. There are 7 central and 31 state forensic laboratories in India which promotes forensic students every year in job fields as researchers, forensic scientists, forensic experts, investigating officers, etc.
With increasing crime rates, the demand for forensic science is also increasing in other countries vastly. Among the foreign countries, the UK is the most popular choice for earning a degree in forensic science abroad. The most scope for forensic science is in Australia and in the USA. Most criminologist graduates work as investigating officers, researchers, forensic scientists, police officers, medical examiners, teachers, and professors abroad.
Forensic science is a part of criminology that puts its light on crimes, crime-related facts, and evidence scientifically. There are major steps that have been discussed in this context of the forensic investigation process. There are major advantages as well as disadvantages of forensic science just like in all other fields. The interesting aspects of this topic have covered major facts which should be known to everyone. The demand for forensic science as a subject is increasing day by day with the increasing crime rates all over the world. This is encouraging every nation to welcome the growing interest of students in forensic science.
About The Author
This article is written by Manna Prapti. She is currently studying forensic science.