Criminal investigation is an
Applied science is the use of the scientific method
The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves caref ...
that involves the study of facts that are then used to inform criminal trials. A complete criminal investigation can include
Searching or search may refer to:
* Search algorithm, including keyword search
** :Search algorithms
* Search and optimization for problem solving in artificial intelligence
* Search engine technology, software for findin ...
An interview is essentially a structured conversation
Conversation is interactive communication
Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divi ...
Interrogation (also called questioning) is interviewing as commonly employed by law enforcement officers, military personnel, intelligence agencies, organized crime syndicates, and terrorist organizations with the goal of eliciting useful informa ...
Evidence for a proposition
In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by a ...
collection and preservation, and various methods of investigation. Modern-day criminal investigations commonly employ many modern scientific techniques known collectively as
Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of to and , mainly—on the criminal side—during , as governed by the legal standards of and .
Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific during the c ...
Criminal investigation is an ancient science that may have roots as far back as c. 1700 BCE in the writings of the
Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text composed 1755–1750 BC. It is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, purportedly by Ham ...
. In the code, it is suggested that both the accuser and the accused had the right to present evidence they collected. In the
Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity
Humanity most commonly refers to:
Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
, criminal investigations are most often done by government
The police are a constituted body of persons
A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason
Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic
A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), a private detective, or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals, groups or NGO
upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Inst ...
s are also commonly hired to complete or assist in criminal investigations.
An early recorded professional criminal investigator was the English
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal Police, law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. O ...
. Around 1250 CE, it was recorded that the constable was to "...record...matters of fact, not matters of judgment and law."
In seeking "indicators of suspicion" in investigations, suspects will need to have had:
* Motive to commit the crime (for example, financial gain or to seek revenge)
* Means to commit the crime (including tools and physical capabilities)
* Opportunity to commit the crime (including being at the crime scene at the time of the offence)
They will also establish the relationships between the victim and any potential offenders.
Investigation priority bias problems and proposed solutions
After observing recent changes in the demographic composition of particular crimes during higher priority of their investigation, such as the increase of the percentage of women convicted for joining and fighting for
Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime
Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
organizations from a very low percentage (similar to those of murder and rape) to almost as many women as men (women in the 40–50 percent range in some jurisdictions) as the priority of investigating terror crimes increased, certain criminologists are expressing the notion that there may be more crimes that would change their demographics if they got higher priority. These criminologists theorize that in the case of limited budgets, criminal investigators rely on profiled and statistical likelihood of particular groups of people being convicted for the type of crimes that are being investigated, and ignore complaints that are filed about people who they consider less likely to commit the crimes or give the tracking or individual matching to the evidence lower priority. According to the hypotheses, even a minimal or nonexistent difference in the likelihood of committing crimes can be hidden behind a difference of a factor by many multiples in the likelihood of being convicted due to self-fulfilling prophecies
in the statistics. These criminologists feel that criminals who are not getting caught, due to being profiled as unlikely offenders, are a major problem. Some of these criminologists propose an increased number of police officers. Others argue that investigations of the evidence are more expensive than police patrols and that not all crimes can be investigated, suggesting that profiling of
Criminal psychology, also referred to as criminological psychology, is the study of the views, thoughts, intentions, actions and reactions of criminals and all who participate in ''criminal behavior''.Richard N. Kocsis, Applied criminal psycholo ...
should be replaced with randomized priorities of individual suspects within similar types of crime. The latter criminologists also argue that such randomization would not only fight hidden crimes by exposing the currently unsuspected criminals to the risk of being punished, but also that the abolition of profiling by
Forensic Psychology, a subfield of psychology
Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an aca ...
and forensic psychiatry would be a monetary saving that could be used for investigation of technical evidence, tracking of criminals who are hiding, and other investigation work that can reduce the need to ignore complaints for budget reasons.
["Incapacitation: Trends and New Perspectives" 2016 by Marius Duker, Marijke Malsch]
Murder bookIn law enforcement parlance, the term murder book refers to the case file of a murder investigation. Typically, murder books include Forensic photography, crime scene photographs and sketches, autopsy and forensic reports, transcripts of investigator ...
18th-century BC establishments