The application of forensic science to criminal investigation

Authored by: Jim Fraser

Handbook of Criminal Investigation

Print publication date:  May  2007
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9781843921882
eBook ISBN: 9780203118177
Adobe ISBN: 9781136308246

10.4324/9780203118177.ch15

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Abstract

In circumstances where science and technology contribute to solutions in wider areas of human activity, such as criminal justice, the application of specialist skills knowledge in relation to complex practical problems is rarely delivered directly by specialists without intermediary agents. Such environments are usually complex and with numerous barriers to the optimal conditions for the application of specialist knowledge. These barriers include conflicting or misunderstood organizational policies and aims, financial constraints and cultural differences between different sectors. Such factors are generally overcome by formal or informal co-operative activities based on shared organizational aims or short-term goals. The corresponding level of knowledge of each party in such joint enterprises is rarely extensive or deep but more typically represents what is essential to ensure that problems are dealt with effectively within notional standards and timeframes and that perceived risks are managed.

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