The age of austerity and the future of crime scene investigation

King, Rhiannon (2016) The age of austerity and the future of crime scene investigation. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    For decades successive governments in the United Kingdom (UK) have placed significant emphasis on improving the operational effectiveness of public service. (Barton & Barton, 2011). The police, in particular, have been subject to scrutiny and with the arrival of the Conservative Government in 2015 came fears that police budget would be cut by as much as 20% ("Spending Review: George Osborne protects police funding", 2015). There is now a view to safeguard police budget but news report continue to highlight the need to prioritise police action, more specifically to burglary investigations (e.g. 'Sara Thornton: Police may no longer attend burglaries" 2015).
    The aim of this dissertation was to explore the dichotomy between policymakers' decisions to implement police budget cuts and the public's opinion towards this decision, with specific focus on the value of forensic science in burglary crime scene investigation. To explore this, a systematic review of the literature was conducted alongside a survey. The review examined literature from the past forty years which focused on how effectively forensic science has been used and how it has contributed to the investigation of volume crime. The review demonstrated that a number of recurrent factors appeared to inhibit the effective use of forensic science in crime scene investigation, all of which seemed to be governed by investigation policies. The survey was used to gain public opinion about the recent news for policymakers to implement police budget cuts, as well as public views on the use of forensic science in burglary investigations. Respondents' main concern was victim reassurance rather than the value of evidence but there was significant emphasis placed on the presence of a crime scene investigator (CSI).
    It is beyond the scope of this dissertation to offer a solution as to how UK police forces manage future budget cuts but findings suggest that a predictive screening model and refreshed investigation policies could ensure all police resources are deployed efficiently and the public's needs are met appropriately. This research has explored a number of issues that could be inhibiting an efficient police investigation process and has highlighted key areas for future research.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 15:56
    Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 15:56

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