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14.06.2019 Editorial

Appalling Crime Scene Management

By Daily Guide
Appalling Crime Scene Management

Our crime scene management is anything but appropriate and in consonance with best practices. We might not all have gone through detective training but our knowledge of the rudiments of the subject tells us that something was not right at the Kumasi kidnap crime scene. The ease with which people fidgeted with exhibits at the crime scene after the rescue would definitely affect the integrity of the investigation.

People swarmed the crime scene as if they were hunting for crabs on a marshy land. We expected that the police would have secured the location immediately after the operation to protect vital exhibits.

Crime scenes are deliberately taped and secured for professional assessment of what happened and the gathering of telltale materials. Without these, cases which appear straightforward could suffer major deficiencies in the court of law.

What we observed in the aftermath of the Kumasi rescue leaves much to be desired. One television station, as it were, virtually moved its studio to the location.

There is no doubt that the Kumasi crime scene should under normal circumstances be secured and isolated for the next one month or so to allow for thorough professional work by detectives working on the case.

We are told that given the high-profile nature of the case, it is being handled in Accra. While that is in order we shudder to think about the integrity damage that the crime scene would suffer and thus making the work of the detectives rather difficult.

What would the top flight detectives charged with managing the case find when they mandatorily land in Kumasi? Unwanted fingerprints will, of course, blur those of the kidnappers.

We are in a country suffering the drawbacks of a near non-existing database of citizens especially criminals and so when nuisances crop up at crimes scenes they only turn into conundrums what should not be.

The machetes, knives and other items strewn all over the crime scene must have been tampered with by curious residents of Sawaba and journalists who thronged the place without knowing the negative implication of their curiosity.

Let the CID engage journalists through the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) for lessons in crime scene management so that the inappropriate scenes observed in Kumasi are prevented in future.

The lack of knowledge in such matters has led to acrimony between the police and the media in some instances.

While the media is eager to report the news and would easily be carried away to the extent of acting in ways which stall investigations, detectives are protective of details the release of which would compromise the quality of their work.

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