A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF CRIME SCENE MANAGEMENT IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN STAREHE DIVISION, KENYA
STEPHEN KIPTANUI KEMBOI
A RESEACH PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF DIPLOMA OF ARS IN LEADERSHIP AND SECURITY MANAGEMENT
This project is my original work and has not been presented for a diploma in any university for any other award.
STEPHEN KIPTANUI KEMBOI-
This project has been submitted for review with our approval as university supervisors
1. Signature ……………………….Date……………………………………..
2. SIGNATURE ………………………….Date……………………………….
Name of the supervisor:
DR. CYPRIAN KAVIVYA
Chairman School of Security, Diplomacy and Peace Studies Kenyatta University
A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF CRIME SCENE MANAGEMENT IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN STAREHE DIVISION, KENYA
Homicide investigation is a process of inquiry into what caused the death of a human being. Homicide encompasses intentional killing (murder), negligent killing (manslaughter) and lawful killing (self defense, sports, medical aspect) It involves process of legally gathering evidence at a crime scene. Science has been linking physical or trace evidence to a particular scenario. Homicide investigators should have competencies to identify and arrest the suspects. In the absence of an eye witness the forensic evidence adduced before a court of law should be beyond reasonable doubt. Practice what I call “crime scene etiquette.” It is a process of combining knowledge of behavioral sciences with the facts of the investigation. Understanding of the advances in forensic science, investigators can improve their chances of success.
1.1 Background of the study
Processing a crime scene is considered to be one of the most critical aspects of effective criminal investigations. Inadequately managed scenes can result in poor quality evidence being used and increases the risk of ineffective investigations and/or wrongful convictions (Edwards 2005), such as in the cases of Madeline McCann (United Kingdom), Azaria Chamberlain and Farah Jama (Australia) and Guy Morin (Canada). This article explores some of the critical issues in the forensic process that arise at the scene of the crime. The aim of the article is to draw attention to the crucial significance of the crime scene (or crime scenes) in the effective use of forensic science. Importance of understanding the roles performed and the interactions that occur between personnel who attend the Crime scene. Conceptualizing crime scene management as a fundamental component of forensic science invstigation (Crispino 2008).
In the proceedings in court of law the judges and magistrates have put the investigators in notice that they have adduced mingled evidence, filed incomplete reports, filed to question potential witnesses. What happened will never be known.
The prevalence of homicide in Kenya continues to perplex citizens, legislators, policy makers and police officials. Occasionally horrific events place a national focus on homicide. Homicide offenders are some times being identified and arrested. Studies exist that examine the complex nature of homicide, its victims, and its offenders. Collectively these studies provide new insights to understand the problem. The challenge is to take this knowledge of homicide characteristics and trends and integrate it with new and emerging police strategies, practices, and technology. By transcending theory to policy, the obvious goal would be to investigate homicide cases successfully. The challenge is not simply to apply a new technology or to implement a promising practice. Rather, the need is to re-examine the role of the homicide investigator and the methodology of homicide investigations. Many proven investigation techniques will still apply but through a different paradigm to make them more effective with new insight about the application of the technique. In addition, new techniques and a new organizational philosophy of homicide investigations may help increase the effectiveness of these inquiries and thus is the focus of the present research. Homicide investigations are categorized into one of three mutually exclusive categories. They are cleared by arrest, exceptional clearance and un-cleared (Jarvis & Regoeczi, 2009).
To conceptualize and operationalize the two terms crime scene management and homicide investigation, I have to give my specific definitions to this terms. Crime scene management entails the processing and documenting the crime scene. It includes the actual procedure and the real presence of crime scene investigator at a scene of crime. It involves the use of recording devices like the cameras, video, rulers, magnifying lenses, gloves, packaging material, and any other tool which can assist in evaluating the crime scene. In the process the crime scene investigator is looking for clues and materials which are relevant in revealing the perpetrators of the crime. In homicide the only left thing is the crime scene which includes the body and may be the tools and weapons of the actor. Homicide unlike other scenes the victim cannot be in a position to express him/ her self. Therefore it is the approach of the scene which will determine the identity of the victim and the perpetrators.
The term homicide investigation refers to the act of an investigator finding the cause of death of a human being. Those general categories are: Murder, Man slaughter and Justifiable Homicide. Regardless of the circumstances or the outcome of the charges, a homicide involves the taking of a human life.
In the investigation murder or manslaughter are the outcomes by the investigating team. Homicide is the killing with malice and forethought of another human this is usually considered a premeditated state of mind and separate murder from manslaughter because the individual planned the murder with intention (Osterburg, J.W. and Ward, R.H. 2010). Homicide is by itself the killing of another person by another. This includes cases of suicide where the victim is deemed to have killed him or herself. Some murder cases are made to appear like suicide, therefore the investigator has to have knowledge on how the posture of suicide bodies appear.
Some murders are made to appear like drowning, if the investigator approaches the scene with a narrow mind the murderer will walk scape got free. The body which truly was involved in drowning has some indications on the hands and during autopsy there are more details in the mouth, lungs, and the stomach.
Despite this generally held belief, little scholarly attention has been paid to the actual work the police do to investigate homicide cases. As Puckett and Lundman (2003, p. 188) note, Researchers need to gain access to police departments open to research and then use that access to explore the effects of the investigative actions of detectives on homicide investigations the present research remain(s) largely silent on the effects of the investigative actions. Much therefore remains to be learned about what detectives do and how they do in affective investigation.
This research seeks to fill this knowledge gap by utilizing observations from Starehe division Nairobi county in Kenya with high homicide rates and effective homicide investigative practice to inform practitioners and guide future research in this area.
Black’s theory of law (1976) contends that police exercise their discretion to investigate incidents of homicide based on extralegal characteristics of victims and the areas in which the crime occurred. Conversely, other scholars argue that homicide is the most serious crime and all police work diligently to investigate every case, regardless of victim characteristics or where the crime occurred (Gottfredson ; Hindelang, 1979; Klinger, 1997). Though findings lack consensus, in aggregate the research has shown that extralegal characteristics of victims, as well as the location of their homicide, do influence investigation rates (Addington, 2006; Litwin, 2004; Marche, 1994; Puckett ; Lundman, 2003; Regoeczi et al., 2000; Riedel ; Rinehart, 1996; Wellford ; Cronin, 1999). This collective evidence lends support to the notion that police treat investigations of homicide equally that is, overall police use comparable diligence in all homicide investigations. However, the equitable application of due diligence by police to solve homicides does not inform how police actually clear such incidents. A focus on the daily operational aspects of police homicide investigations should yield insightful information. Studies have examined the effects of detective experience and workload on homicide investigations.
This is qualitative research based on extensive interviewing of a wide variety of police personnel who directly investigate homicides and those law enforcement personnel.
The investigation identified from the review documents were grouped into:
• Investigative response (initial actions at the scene; information gathering; witness and suspect management)
• Forensics (exhibit management and submission)
• Record keeping (recording of Senior Investigating Officers (SIO) decisions, procedure and content, acquirement and storage of documentation)
• Information management (document management and action administration)
• Staffing and resources (staffing levels and the availability of a suitably trained and experienced team)
• Communication (internal, external and with the victim’s family).
Mission statement, The Homicide Investigator No greater honor will ever be bestowed on an officer or a more profound duty imposed on him/her than when he is entrusted with the investigation of the death of a human being. It is his duty to find the facts, regardless of color or creed, without prejudice, and to let no power on earth deter him from presenting the facts to the court without regard to personality.
Objective of crime scene management, is to recover physical evidence and to ensure that the location of evidence can be accounted for all the way from the crime scene to the court, in order to secure a conviction
To locate potentially relevant and meaningful evidence that could be used to link or clear a suspect or witness to a crime.
To find information and evidence that proves a motive and to identify the crime
To reconstruct the event of the crime, in order to provide answers to what happened and who is responsible.
Physical Evidence Collected, Submitted & Examined An extremely high percentage of homicides had physical evidence collected from the crime scenes. No other crime in this study compares with homicide in the quantity and diversity of physical evidence collected. Firearms/Weapons and Natural/Synthetic Materials were the categories of evidence collected most frequently. Police gathered a wide array of guns, bullets, shell casings and cartridges. Materials Evidence primarily factored in as a Substrate upon which other evidence might be found. Clothing was the predominant type of Materials Evidence collected. Biological, Latent Print and Trace evidence were collected fairly frequently. Suspected blood evidence was the primary form of Biological evidence collected. DNA evidence was collected at crime scenes. The principal behind forensic evidence is backed by the reasoning that for every contact there occurs transfer of material between the surface of the items or objects that have made contact depending on the nature of surface, nature of evidence, duration of contact, force of contact, size of surface (Forensic Handbook, 2012)
To date some cases remain unresolved such as murder of Dr John Ouko, Jacob Juma, Hon Muchai. Bodies collected in Mathare slum with gun shots, inflicted wounds by sharp objects remains as pending under investigation (PUI).
This research aims at establishing the way forward on national police service with the aim of improving in the investigation of homicide cases. It will also address the gaps and weaknesses in literature which is evidenced by lack of studies carried out in the police organization.
1.2 statement of the problem
Crime scene management is the most appropriate and effective enabler of homicide investigations. It is important for the national police service under its arm of Directorate of Criminal Investigation to enhance capacity in the training and effective practice of effective forensic approaches to the reported cases of homicide. The question is that how is the murder, suicide, drowning, infanticide, poisoning and any other deaths to human beings prosecuted to totality?
The purpose of any homicide investigate case is to come up with the perpetrator of the offence and establish properly the motive. Though in any investigation all evidence seems to be hidden the investigation should have the capacity to unravel all the acts and omissions in the homicide. The question one is left in his mind is the ability of our investigative units to handle and succeed positively in the investigation.
Cases in court have not been appealing in terms of the evidence the prosecution adduces to the jury. The linking of the suspects and the crime scene nearly always leaves the magistrates with the options of awarding them the benefit of doubt. Therefore the study is possibly aimed at relationship between crime scene management and investigation of any given homicide reported case.
The question is that does the first responder at any homicide case have knowledge in how to approach the scene. The same question goes to the police officers who are always the first to arrive at the scene and are not the investigators. May be the investigators do not have the know-how in handling the homicide scenes. DCI have invested in the training of the crime Scene Investigators with the knowledge of identifying, collection and preservation of evidence in the homicide scenes, unless they are selective in the approaches.
1.3 purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to find out the evaluation and performances of crime scene management in Directorate of Criminal Investigation under the National Police Service Specifically starehe Division, Nairobi County.
1.4 objectives of the study
To provide an understanding of crime scene management and control to include personnel responsibilities and duties in homicide cases.
To determine the challenges to effective crime scene management.
To identify approaches to enhance effectiveness of evidence recognition, documentation and recovery in homicide cases.
1.5 Research questions
What are the different ways of crime scene documentation in homicide investigation?
What are the challenges in crime scene management in homicide investigation?
Which approaches can enhance effectiveness in crime scene management in homicide scene?
1.6 Rational of the study
The study will benefit the national police service especially in the successful investigation of homicide cases. It will form the basis of a strategy in homicide crime scene management. The research will add knowledge and identify key areas in the approach of homicide reported cases. The study will fill the gap in literature on the kind of reference material for the homicide investigators. It will encourage more research by academicians to enhance investigative performance.
1.7 Definition of terms
Definitions concertize the intended meaning of a concept in relation to a particular study (De Beer, 1999:15). The following definitions explain the key concepts of the research:
Field officers – These are professionals who visit the scene of a crime and collect the physical evidence that may be related to the crime. They also document and record the scene by taking photographs and videos.
Lab officers – These are technicians who analyse and complete tests on the evidence collected by the field officers.
Forensic investigation-This refers to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence. Its aim is at instituting court proceedings and where some or other scientific knowledge is applied to a legal problem (Pollex, 2001:93).
Crime scene- This is a locality of hidden clues which can lead to the clarification or detection of the crime. It includes any other locality or place where physical clues concerning the crime can be found (Marais and Van Rooyen, 1990:23).
The study is aimed at finding out extend of crime scene management in homicide investigation in National Police Service.
2.1 Theoretical Framework
In forensic science, Locard’s exchange principle holds that the perpetrator of a crime will bring something into the crime scene and leave with something from it, and that both can be used as forensic evidence. . He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: “Every Contact Leaves a Trace”. This became known as Locard’s Exchange Principle
2.2 Locard’s Exchange Principle theory
This theory was developed by Dr. Edmond Locard (1877 – 1966) was a pioneer in forensic science that became known as the Sherlock Holmes of France. It states that wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, and it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it can diminish its value. Professor Edmond Locard
Gauging the Value of Evidence It is unique – If an item is found that helps narrow the possibilities of who might be considered a suspect, or the manner in which a crime was committed, this evidence would be of use. Is an impression from a vehicle tire found in the dirt at the scene? The tread impression can be compared to others to determine the type of tire that was on the car. Is a shoe print left in the soil? The tread may help to identify the size and type of shoes it came from and the wear pattern could be used to match it to a specific pair. It has a low probability of occurring by chance considering the mathematical probabilities will help to determine the odds that a piece of physical evidence found at the scene could appear merely by coincidence. If DNA evidence found at the scene matches a suspect, the chances are exceedingly low that another person could have left this sample. But even evidence that has a much higher probability for instance, a common type of shoeprint that is left in the soil is still valuable. When combined with other high probability evidence, these can help narrow the list of possible parties and build a compelling case. It is inconsistent – If an item is found that is out of place or inconsistent with the setting, or is out of character for the victim for instance if the victim was a non-smoker but a cigarette butt is found at the scene this could be an important bit of evidence.
Research has identified distinct variables that have been consistently correlated with homicide investigation, whether negatively or positively (Jarvis ; Regoeczi, 2009; Keel, Jarvis, ; Muirhead, 2009; Litwin ; Xu, 2007). Specifically, these variables include the
1. Availability of forensic evidence (DNA evidence, fingerprints, ballistics etc).
2. Case characteristics (location, weapon, time of day etc).
3. Victim characteristics (gender, age, race etc).
4. Suspect characteristics (gender, age, race etc).
5. Investigative activities (staffing, management, analytical process employed etc).
6. Availability of witnesses.
That of these characteristics, forensic evidence is significantly associated with investigations, locations, contact weapons, victims, availability of witnesses, and certain investigative activities.
At forensic laboratory such evidence is analyzed to establish if it is linked to any suspect or other crime. In essence the results of forensic analysis help to compliment and corroborate other evidence the investigating officer may have gathered during the investigation. Thoroughness in crime scene processing and analyzing of submitted evidence are geared towards resolution of criminal cases and better still prevention of such crimes happening to make the society safe.
Effective crime scene management will definitely establish the presence of the offender(s) in a crime scene. Preservation by the first police officer at the crime scene before calling in the skilled is the first step towards success in homicide investigation.
The other theory I use to purport Locard principle theory is the information theory (Wilmer, 1970) which enumerates that criminal investigation is a process of linking information about an alleged criminal occurrence to a particular individual. During the commission of the crime the offender leaves behind information which the investigator will pick up and link the suspect to. Such evidence will be in form of eye witnesses account, physical evidence like finger prints, documents, hair, bloodstains, weapons and CCTV footage among others.
The Locard theory principle carries the day however criminals have become clever and mischievous. They calculate all the escape routes in any crime scene. They also use protective gear on their hands and make sure they dispose the kit in a concealable tactics. This will enable the criminal to evade arrest and prosecution for the offence committed.
The investigator may miss out the essential information due to reasons such as incompetence, interference or contamination of the crime scene. The investigator must be in a position to identify physical evidence which includes tangible material such as weapons, pieces of clothing’s, mobile phones, cigarette butt, and shoe impressions.
The investigator should also be in a position to identify trace (minute) evidence such as fingerprints, bloodstains, hair and fibers’ (Kirk, 1953).
Therefore the Locard principle supports the information theory to the extent that the evidence recovered from a crime scene is utilized to generate and build a water tight case against the perpetrator.
2.3 Review of related literature
2.3.1 Variables under study
The independent variables under study are crime scene management, evidence identification/collection, evidence preservation (packaging/labeling) and evidence analysis. The dependent variable is the homicide investigation. The intervening variable is crime scene processing. The study sought to establish the challenges hindering effectiveness of crime scene management and ways to enhance homicide investigation.
2.3.2 Crime scene management in homicide investigation
Police curriculums have been training on action by the first police officer to arrive at the crime scene. However it is essential that members of public should be sensitized on action at a crime scene. This should be included in the community policing framework. The public are normally the first responders to any crime scene. Knowledge and steps to take in approaching any crime scene is paramount. It solves the issues of contamination, shifting of items/evidence, loss or addition of trace evidence. The crime scene should be documented in situ.
In other jurisdictions uniformed police officers detectives’ crime scene investigators medical examiners photographers’ move to the crime scene each to recover evidence related to their fields (Tilley and Ford 1996).
In the year 2000 the task force in US developed a guide on crime scene management in which it was observed that successful implementation of guide would be achieved if investigators use basic and advanced training fundamentals of investigating crime scene.
2.3.3 Evidence identification
Trace evidence needs a lot of care in its approach and handling. If the concerned investigating officer at a crime scene is not careful he will damage the minute evidence. Some exhibits holding the minute evidence may be on surfaces which need application of some developing chemicals to make them visible like the latent finger prints. DNA though a powerful element of significant identification is very latent in its existence it’s only in the laboratory which exposes it. Therefore the approach to such evidence must be with due respect.
2.3.4 Evidence collection/packaging
Evidence at a crime scene needs to be recovered with total care to avoid contamination. Use of protected hands with gloves, lifting tools, magnifying glasses and gas trappers. Marks on surfaces must be photographed in a one to one scale. Evidence collection and packaging require special containers. Some exhibits needs to be placed under shade or room temperatures to perfectly dry. This is to avoid action by bacteria and development of moulds. Packaging and labeling must be done in an orderly manner to avoid confusion.
2.3.5 Evidence analysis
The recovered evidence must be subjected to analysis. The laboratory processes should be done by skilled scientist. In the current stat of art at the laboratory instruments are automated and are directed by computer technology. Once place in the tubes it undergoes an internal mechanism which act on the commands given. The challenge is the absence of a data base for older cases which could be used to compare and match the findings. In Kenya we don’t have a DNA data base. But currently the national police laboratory is under construction, this creates a hope of ray at the end of the tunnel. There is need to train more forensic experts based on sound scientific principles (Ramsey, 1987 and NIJ, 2014). Courts depend mainly on the out come of the examinations at the laboratory. This may delay due to expensive reagents required for the exercise. This will amount to pending of more arrest and delay or deferment of cases.
2.4 Summaries of the literature review and theoretical frame work
In any successful completion of every homicide investigation, the processing of the crime scene in an ethical format is critical. The etiquette as earlier stated must be followed. Crime scene processing is the intervening or moderating factor in successful homicide investigation. From the literature review there are several reasons leading to lack of effectiveness of crime scene management. They include lack of knowledge on how to process a crime scene and recover essential evidence. Lack of necessary tools, insufficient equipments. Failure to request for experts, shortage of staff within the forensic laboratories. End users such as prosecutors, state counsel, magistrates and judges are not in a position to interpret some of the results of the analysis. With such gaps the linkage of evidence recovered at a crime scene to a particular perpetrator becomes wasted information. Professional skills and thorough analysis based on scientific backgrounds and increase in the solving of reported criminal matters (Bradley Fiest 2005). There is need to strengthen crime scene management and create guiding standards for the homicide investigations. The study seeks to establish the knowledge on crime scene management in homicide investigations within starehe police division, Nairobi County. It will also be a reference for other homicide investigators country wide.
2.2.5 Conceptual framework
The conceptual framework displays the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variables and as well as the intervening variable (moderating variables)
Effective crime scene management determine success in homicide investigations
Crime scene management
Crime scene processing
The purpose of this study is to critically analyse the essence of crime scene management in reference to homicide investigations within starehe division. It has the following police stations, Pangani, Muthaiga, Huruma and Ruaraka. The chapter will discuss the research to be used, study site, target population, pilot study, validity and reliability, data collection methods, analysis techniques and ethical issues appertaining to the study.
3.2 Research design
The study will employ descriptive design which will examine the problem rather than explore it. Tools will include interviews questioners, documents review and observation. In addition collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data will allow easy access to information.
3.3 Site of the study
This study will be carried in starehe division within Nairobi County. It has been considered for this study because of its location and constant cases of homicide. Being covered widely by slums like Mathare, Huruma Korogojo, Dandora and the high rise neighborhood of Muthaiga.
3.4 Study population
The study population will target a population of 235 police officers serving the starehe police division. They include officers deployed at crime branches at the respective police stations within and DCI officers division. CSI officers at starehe divisional headquarters will be target on the crime scene management perspective. These officers are nearly on daily basis deal with homicide cases.
3.5 Sampling techniques and sample size
This study will target at least 30% of the identified study population which is 71 officers of all ranks through random and non random sampling. Stratified sampling, simple sampling to be used to select officers from the police constable to members of inspectorate. Purposive sampling will be used to identify crime scene investigators and gazette officers.
3.6 research instruments
The study will use questioners with both close and open ended questions to generate the quantitative data. Qualitative data collection will include my observation and interviews including group discussions.
3.7 validity and reliability
I will endeavor to have accurate findings based on the data analyzed. This is based on ensuring that instruments used for measuring data correctly produce the real situation on the ground (Kothari, 2004). I will seek guidance from my supervisor to help me align my objectives of the study to make my outcomes valid. Reliability is to measure and ensure research instruments gives accurate and consistent results after repeated test (Mugenda and Mugenda 2003).
3.8 Pilot study
I will conduct my pilot study in Buruburu police Division within Nairobi County to test the questioner targeting police investigators who investigate homicide cases in starehe. The pilot study is to ensure the questioner generates the expected results.
3.9 Data collection
The questionnaires will be issued through drop and later pick method to the participants and scheduled interviews with crime scene investigators.
3.10 Data analyse and presentation
The collected quantitative data will be presented by use of pie charts and tables. Qualitative date from the interviews will be presented using tables
3.11 Ethical considerations.
I sought to seek authority to carry out the research Kenyatta University Research department, IG NPS and Director of Directorate of criminal investigation. Participants will be treated with total confidentiality. Any information gathered will be used only for academic purposes.
Material …………………………………………… 5,000.00
Printing ………………………………… ……….. 2,500.00
Photocopying ……………………………………….. 1,500.00
Printing ……………………………………………… 2,500.00
Photocopying …………………………………………… 1,500.00
Travelling costs for 2 @750 per day for 10 days …… 15,000,00
One research assistant ……………………………… 15,000.00
Food for 2 @ 500 each for 10 days ………………… 10,000.00
Communication 2 persons (internet and airtime) …… 5,000.00
3. Data analysis:
Material cost…………………………………………. 7,000.00
Printing ……………………………………………… 2,000.00
4. Report writing ;compilation
Printing ……………………………………………… 3,000.00
Photocopying ………………………………………….. 2,500.00
Writing ; Binding (10) copies ……………………… 18,000.00
Miscellaneous …………………………………………….. 5,000.00
Sub total …………………………………………………… 98,000.00
Contingency 10% …………………………………………. 10,000.00
Grand Total ……………………………………………… 108,500.00