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    1. What is the purpose of photographic placards (references) in a crime scene photograph? 
    2. What is the purpose of taking two sets of photographs, one with placards, and one without?
    3. In your opinion, if you sketch a crime scene, what are the essential elements that should be shown in your sketch?


Subject Law and governance Pages 3 Style APA


Crime Scene Photography

Crime scene photography seeks to capture the best images of a crime scene and as such provide reproduction and documentation of reality as at the time of photographing. Since this photography is a form of visual narration, investigators are tasked with ensuring crime scene photographs are as accurate and fair as possible in terms of how they represent the scene of interest. This paper discusses some important concepts in crime scene photography.

Purpose of photographic Placards (References)

A photographic placard, which can be handwritten or agency-developed, details pertinent case information, even as may be contained in subsequent photographs. Photographic placards enlighten investigating personnel as to which photo relates to which case. In essence, a photographic placard demarcates or separates the cases, ensuring that photographs are not mixed up or commingled. Additionally, photographic placards are believed to be an accurate documentation of the crime scene prior to any contamination, perhaps by the crime scene personnel.

Purpose of taking two sets of Photographs, one with Placards, and another without

The purpose of taking two sets of photographs as implied is to allow for comparison, for it is possible that crime scene personnel or the photographer himself/herself tampers with, contaminates, or manipulates the scene in the course of photographing and/or searching for important details to photograph /document. Expectedly, photos with placards would be considered the most accurate documentation as they capture the crime scene prior to manipulation by crime scene personnel. This set is a proof that the crime scene has not been tampered with. Importantly, those with placards represent additional reproduction and documentation of the scene that can be compared to those taken prior to contamination. Thus, having two sets of photographs checks against the possibility of photographic evidence being declared inadmissible in court on allegations of scene tampering by crime scene personnel or the photographer (Dutelle, 2015; National Institute of Justice, 2004).

Essential Elements that should be included/shown in a Crime Scene Sketch

One of the most important aspects of a crime scene sketch is a title, which ensures that the sketch can be identified in such a manner that precludes misrepresentation and confusion. Hence, it is important in the context of sketch entitling to include elements such as case identification number, type of crime, location, time, and date as well as the investigator’s name (and his/her assistants present). Additionally, it is important that when sketching a crime scene, one includes additional sketches that capture the immediate surrounding of the crime scene, for instance, the exterior of a building. Here, one can have a sketch that extends beyond the crime scene to include nearby areas or just produce additional sketches.





    Dutelle, A.W. (2015). Basic crime scene photography. Seattle, WA: CreateSpace Publishing.

    National Institute of Justice (2004). Crime Scene Investigation: A Reference for Law Enforcement Training. Washington, D.C: U.S Department of Justice.













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