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J Forensic Sci. 2016 Jan;61(1):43-51. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12904. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

The Influence of New Technologies on the Visual Attention of CSIs Performing a Crime Scene Investigation.

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Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences - Forensic Sciences, P.O. Box 1025, 1000 BA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Dutch Police Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement NSCR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Currently, a series of promising new tools are under development that will enable crime scene investigators (CSIs) to analyze traces in situ during the crime scene investigation or enable them to detect blood and provide information on the age of blood. An experiment is conducted with thirty CSIs investigating a violent robbery at a mock crime scene to study the influence of such technologies on the perception and interpretation of traces during the first phase of the investigation. Results show that in their search for traces, CSIs are not directed by the availability of technologies, which is a reassuring finding. Qualitative findings suggest that CSIs are generally more focused on analyzing perpetrator traces than on reconstructing the event. A focus on perpetrator traces might become a risk when other crime-related traces are overlooked, and when analyzed traces are in fact not crime-related and in consequence lead to the identification of innocent suspects.


crime scene investigation; forensic science; orientation phase; rapid identification techniques; trace evidence; visual attention

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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