10.31.2011

Futuristic Criminal Investigations-Part IX



Specializing In Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Investigations

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
ilcnsw.asn.au

In the future law enforcement will have to rely upon the other arts and sciences to further understand how to conduct a fact-finding mission. Currently, the time and effort put in by a law enforcement official in a child sexual abuse investigation is dependent upon the complexity of the case. Sometimes the quality of the case creates many barriers and twists which leave the law enforcement officer lost in the lack of physical, biological and testimonial evidence.

In researching the arts and sciences which may assist those in law enforcement I found the art and science of “Tracking” to be similar in the characteristics and clues which are found when a child sexual abuse investigation takes place. In “Tracking” the tracker has a detailed understanding of animal behavior through the interpretation of tracks and signs. In the interpretation of tracks and signs, this leads the tracker in identifying the type of animal who left the clue may it be from a broken twig to a foot print.

Trackers of the animal is an art and science in which law enforcement officials could learn from. In tracking animals the theory is similar to that of the trace evidence theory. In tracking an animal the tracker relies upon clues, clues which provide the direction of the animal and the possible distance the animal is from the tracker. Tracking is a non-invasive method of information gathering, in which potential stress caused to animals is minimized. In conducting an investigation of child sexual abuse the law enforcement official comes to a crime scene with the intent of processing the scene to find evidence which will connect to the unknown perpetrator. The biological and physical evidence which is left behind by the unknown perpetrator can range from broken furniture to carpet fibers to fingerprints on the front door.

The trackers of animals and the law enforcement officials are able to identify the mental and physical behavior of their prey. Each prey will have their individual characteristics which make them more identifiable. It isn’t every day that an unknown perpetrator is capable of entering and leaving a crime scene without leaving something from the intrusion inside and outside the crime scene. The tracker has the benefit of profiling the specific animal they are hunting as the animal doesn’t stop along the path to cover its tracks.
To compare what a tracker looks for compared to the law enforcement official is very interesting. The tracker looks for obvious evidence in specific places upon the path. The law enforcement official looks for the point of entry and exit. At the point of entry the unknown perpetrator may leave biological and physical evidence. If the unknown perpetrator enters through the back door, he may cut himself upon entry; leave fingerprints around the glass in the door and footprints in the garden where he stood to look into the residence to ascertain if anyone is present prior to entering.

It is difficult most of the time when the tracker comes to a fork in the road and they have to make a decision which way to go, left or right. In circling the fork the tracker looks for footprints in the soft part of the dirt. The problem comes when the path is utilized by many animals. Still, the tracker examines the path for that special footprint until the clue is found. Then the tracker must locate that footprint in order to move forward. The law enforcement officer operates in the same fashion. If identifiable evidence is left behind, such as fingerprints, hair, fibers and blood, these types of evidence may lead the law enforcement official to who was in and out of the crime scene and which way he/she traveled too.

In law enforcement finding futuristic methods and techniques is vital to establish ways to identify and apprehend unknown perpetrators. The tracker must be creative and innovative because as the weather conditions change so does the behavior of the specific animal he is following and attempting to observe and eventually may kill for food. The behavioral characteristics of the unknown perpetrator can be complex, but with the new software on profiling unknown perpetrators law enforcement is being provided with tools which identify the unknown perpetrator in an efficient manner.

Thinking outside the box is one of the steps trackers and law enforcement officials are able to put into place e.g. criteria’s, method of operandi’s, unique characteristics, thought processes and etc. to find their prey. If the animal and/or unknown perpetrator learns that the tracker or law enforcement officials have identified them, they may change their method of operandi in order to invade capture. The unknown perpetrator’s world deals with an advanced media which produces written material, videos and news casts which articulate and disseminate information about their past and present behavioral characteristics. The problem for law enforcement officials is once the unknown perpetrator believes he has been identified and his method of operandi is being featured on page one of the New York Times, he will probably, out of common sense change how he commits his crimes.

The problem for the tracker is if the animal becomes aware of the presence of the tracker, then the animal will immediately run, changing the direction he was taking and either turn and fight or give flight. Whatever the decision the animal makes he is similar to the unknown predator because the options to become once again unknown, is something both generally strive for.

The similarities and dissimilarities of the tracker and law enforcement official are fascinating. The tracking of humans or animals has the same concepts to realize the same outcome. The future depends upon the past to find new ideas, suggestions, concepts and ingrained approaches to finding those we hunt for whatever reasons.

Tomorrow, there are other characteristics of law enforcement futuristic ideas which I will identify and explain in how they will make a difference. The ever changing environments law enforcement officials work in needs to be identified and progressively and innovatively addressed.

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