Term Paper on Scientific Police investigation- Scope and challenges

Scientific Investigation has made an important contribution to criminal investigation. Its use by the police, however, needs to be properly managed and organized if it is to make an efficient as well as effective contribution to the detection and prevention of crime. Scientific investigation is the application of basic scientific techniques for the analysis of physical evidence associated with any crime. It covers a vast area of science like chemistry, forensic medicine, photography, biology surgery, mathematic, forensic computer, physics etc. Physical evidence plays a major role in the investigation and solution of criminal acts. Courts now quite rightfully question confessions made by suspects, as well as the testimony of eye witnesses. Physical evidence however, has the ability to corroborate the testimony of suspects and/or witnesses.

Scientific Investigation has greatly increased the value of physical evidence as a tool of today's law enforcement. A crime scene can be a rapidly changing situation. The first officer to arrive at the scene of a crime must be concerned with a myriad of details. To a great extent, the very success of the investigation and perhaps the chance for a successful prosecution hinge upon the actions and steps taken by the first officer to arrive at the crime scene. The reason we preserve the scene is so that all of the available evidence can be found in its original position and condition to help us solve the crime and find out who committed the crime. Crime scenes will often attract crowds of onlookers and friends and family of the victim. This may well lead to these people either deliberately or unintentionally moving or destroying valuable evidence. Some people may even steal exhibits such as guns, knives etc. Of particular concern are police members who may also contaminate the crime scene by handling or touching exhibits, walking over footprints or blood stains etc. Processing the crime scene which includes careful examination, note taking, sketching, photography, and collecting physical evidence requires a careful plan of attack. The crime scene must be approached in a systematic and methodical way and recording is one of the most important steps.

For the purpose of scientific investigation, a forensic laboratory is set up in CID headquarters at Malibagh in Dhaka. Other forensic chemical Laboratories are located in Mohakhali, Tejgaon and Shegunbagicha in Dhaka. Textile experts work at the Textile Institute in Tejgaon. Dhaka Medical College is also used for its laboratories and morgue by the CID branch. Bangladesh currently has one DNA lab which analyses evidence collected from all over the country. It is about time the government starts to invest more into these facilities and determine the proper, secure storage of evidence to prevent tampering. They must also come up with proper witness protection programmes and laws, which will prevent corruption within the law enforcement agencies and let them alert for crime prevention. Crime prevention is the primary objective of law enforcement agencies. For prevention of crime, investigation should be done without interference and in a scientific way. So that, the root causes of a crime is revealed, actual criminals are forwarded to the court and get punished by the judgment.

Investigation is a fundamental responsibility for a police officer in crime administration. It is a process for detection of an offence. It is the fact finding mission. The job is also carried out by other agencies.

Police has been delegated with the core responsibility of investigation as per the Code of Criminal Procedure as well the Constitution desires. Bangladesh Police has recently launched its 3 years Strategic Plan. And the Strategic plan has emphasizes on Investigation as one of the most important components among the strategies. The goal on crime management includes "Quick response and maximum coverage of crimes occurring in the community"' and effective investigation of reported crimes leading to the perpetrators. Police is entrusted with this symbol of human security.

After the separation of Judiciary Police investigation done by Police officer, the rate of conviction, acquittal now comes to the question of accountability. Question now arises on the quality of the investigation; the low rates of conviction .There are now discussions on reason behind the low rate of conviction? How far Police is responsible for ensuring conviction? Now Police has to shoulder the responsibility of the quality of the investigation. But is it only the Police alone that are responsible for the well functioning of the Criminal Justice System? Or are there any other catalysts for the well functioning of the system?

Many will blame the other components - extra official influence, partisan political control non co-operation of the prosecution, system delay, lack of manpower, over work, over burdened by the number of -cases. It is worth to mention that after investigation the matter is handed over to the Court for prosecution where court plays a big role to ensure justice. So, it is not only police but also every component of Criminal Justice System who is responsible for the well functioning of the system. For ensuring justice, every component of Criminal Justice System should work altogether. Everyone is solely responsible for investigation.

The primary purpose of a preliminary or follow-up criminal investigation is to identify and arrest the offender, when appropriate and consistent with law. This is usually accomplished by the gathering of information. Information may be obtained from physical evidence as well as from people or testimonial evidence. Both sources should be used. For this reason an investigating officer has to use scientific method regarding investigation. Though there are certain challenges of scientific investigation in Bangladesh Perspective, there are definite scopes of scientific investigation if we can overcome the challenges. An investigating officer should always conduct an investigation within the bounds of the law and with all due respect to the persons and the property with whom he comes in contact.