Volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2004)

    Crime Scene Ethics: Souvenirs, Teaching Material, and Artifacts

    (Received 25 August 2003; accepted 8 November 200)

    Published Online: February


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    Police and forensic specialists are ethically obliged to preserve the integrity of their investigations and their agencies' reputations. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science provide no guidelines for crime scene ethics, or the retention of items from former crime scenes. Guidelines are necessary to define acceptable behavior relating to removing, keeping, or selling artifacts, souvenirs, or teaching specimens from former crime scenes, where such activities are not illegal, to prevent potential conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety.

    Proposed guidelines permit the retention of objects with educational value, provided they are not of significance to the case, they are not removed until the scene is released, permission has been obtained from the property owner and police investigator, and the item has no significant monetary value. Permission is necessary even if objects appear discarded, or are not typically regarded as property, e.g., animal bones.

    Author Information:

    Rogers, TL
    University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario

    Stock #: JFS2003287

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003287

    ASTM International
    is a member of CrossRef.

    Title Crime Scene Ethics: Souvenirs, Teaching Material, and Artifacts
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30