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Crime Scene Investigator

Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCOs), or Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), work with police in the investigation of serious crime. Usually they are civilians, although sometimes they may be police officers in uniform or plain clothes. The crimes can vary in seriousness from burglary and vehicle crime, to murder and rape.

Crime Scene Investigators are among the first to arrive at a crime scene, for they must look for, retrieve, record and investigate finger and palm prints and other forensic evidence, including DNA samples, at crime scenes and from recovered stolen property. They then use the appropriate methods to collect and preserve the evidence, no matter how difficult the circumstances. They also take photographs at the crime scenes to help in the later identification and conviction of the offenders. They also decide whether assistance from specialists, including forensic scientists, is needed.

Following a visit to a crime scene, the investigator must produce accurate written records and diagrams of where each item of evidence was located and the position in which it was found. They are responsible for maintaining and updating systems with details of recovered evidence. Sometimes, Crime Scene Investigators may need to interview victims of crime or to attend court in order to give evidence. They are often required to attend post mortems.

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