Is handling evidence the job of security officers on-site? Of course not!
Crime scene investigators are specially trained to do it for a living.
Therefore, if security officers ever find themselves caught in such a situation, they should immediately notify the local police and wait for them after securing the premises.
What If Involving Local Police Is Not Possible?
Theoretically, the initial step may sound perfect, but practically that might not always be possible. Then what are the security officers going to do, did you think about that?Being prepared to handle the evidence on-site maybe the only alternative option left.Which is why it’s important for the security officers to have some idea of what to do when local police cannot be involved. The evidence needs to be treated as though it could potentially be used in a trial as according to crime scene management. It should be collected and preserved correctly. But how? Let’s briefly take a look at the things to keep in mind while handling evidence on-site.
Things To Keep In Mind When Handling The Evidence
Security officers are expected to follow the six core steps for containing evidence. They are:
- Collect, Secure, Preserve, Identify, Continuity, & Log.
But before all that, they also need to follow the 4 fundamental principles of crime scene prevention. To prevent evidence from being:
- Cоntаmіnаtеd, Destroyed, Removed, & Moved.
So, limit the number of security officers handling the evidence. Increase the number of security officers called to help using Guardso messenger feature to secure the perimeter.
Before Handling Evidence
The first thing security officers need to do after locating the evidence is to use the Guardso security tour mobile app watch mode feature to:
- Take a photograph or make a video to share with the management instantly.
- Now that Guardso security tour system is equipped with the messenger feature, the same can be shared with the officers on same post site.
- If possible, security officers need to use a ruler next to the evidence for additional clarity.
Special care should be taken while handling the evidence as it can affect the integrity of the original crime scene. Therefore, never ever forget to wear latex gloves.
If there is more than one piece of evidence, it is highly recommended to change them every time. This will help prevent contamination and also protect them from possible infection.
While Collecting Evidence
Collecting evidence is the trickiest part of all. Reason being security officers don’t do it very often or at all. And the way evidence is collected is quite dependent on its type.
- If the evidence can be picked and boxed, well, the officers can do that.
- If the evidence is on a door or a window, using a sterile cotton swab & distilled water collect a sample and put it in a ziplock bag.
- In case, if it’s a cloth, just wrap it up and place it in a brown bag.
- If it’s something wet, for instance, blood, wait for it to dry and then put it in an envelope.
Finally Packaging Evidence
Packaging evidence is a crucial step. Each and every item should be packaged separately. If there’s a piece of evidence that won’t dry out, make sure to put it in a plastic container.
In addition to that, mark each and every item with:
- Your initials
- Date of collecting the sample
- Name of your agency
This will let everyone know that you handled the evidence. Once it’s done, the final step will be to log each & every piece of the evidence using Guardso security tour mobile app.
The Last And The Final Step
There are two possibilities when a crime takes place on-site the security officers are either present to witness the crime unfold, or they are not. No matter what the case, they should report it, if possible, before handling and storing the evidence.
1. In Case They Are There To Witness The Crime
- Guardso’s messenger feature can be used to notify other officers present on-site instantly.
- The reporting software on its security tour mobile app to create an incident report in real-time.
- Security officers should mention all the details in the report since it can be used as a piece of evidence in court.
- Using the watch mode feature of Guardso security tour system video, audio, or image files can be taken at the time of the incident which can also be attached to the report.
2. In Case They Did Not Witness The Crime
- The moment security officers reach the site, in detail, they need to provide everything they witnessed after realizing it was a crime scene.
- They must remain calm in order to discover and gather as many details as possible.
- To catch the culprit if needed, the visitor log of Guardso can come in handy to track who all visited the site during a specific time.
The incident report should be as factual as possible to help find and capture the criminal, to later prosecute the person.
So, do you think your security officers will be able to handle evidence when in a dire situation?
All your articles are worth reading Cameron. They are so helpful, and this one is the best one among the rest. Handling evidence can really be tricky if a guard without prior knowledge finds himself in that situation. This post will be so helpful to so many guards out there. Thanks for sharing this piece of work Cameron.
Another amazing post. Great job with the quick guide for security officers to handle evidence on-site.
Thank you for this, Cameron. Reading your insights is always a pleasure.