Criminal Investigation Essay

Discuss the different kinds of surveillance and the advantages and/or disadvantages of each. Visual surveilance: observing a specific or certain target using equipments such as binoculars, satellite cameras, field glasses, photographic cameras, video cameras, etc. Visually, law enforcement is able to see what is going on and have visual evidence. Many times, visual clues and hints (gestures, where they are looking, how they act, etc. ) enable a person to be able to complete a bigger picture. Aural (audio) surveillance: equipments used to amplify sounds like microphones, devices that record sound, etc.

The advantages to this type of surveillance is that some equipment can pick up sounds through thicker surfaces such as through walls. Another device in this category would be a “bug”. The good thing about this is that they can come in relatively small sizes. Telephone tapping: telephones are used on a daily basis and helps law enforcement by giving them a lot of information in certain cases. Telephones and cell phones include very significant information such as the time and how long a call was made. It also gives more important information like who made the call and who it was made to.

These are often essential clues. Tracking devices: A tracking device is a piece of equipment that can be placed in a vehicle, on a person, or secured to an object that is moving or can be moved. There are signals and indicators that are given out by the tracking device that can calculate the position of the person or object. This type of surveillace has safety advatages. The equipment can replace the work of actual people having to monitor. Tracking devices are also safer for law enforcement people because a scene can be monitored from far away.

Computer surveillance: this has to do with having access to a person’s computer. It can also observe what the person is doing on the computer. This is a reliable type of surveillance because they can monitor and do certain things without the other person actually knowing. Computers have connections to a greater network that can be cracked with special programs. Computers also store a lot of information, which gives more clues to investigators of the daily activities of a person, sometimes that cannot be found anywhere else. 2.

Compare the procedures for assembling a photo array lineup with those of an in-person lineup. What are the similarities and differences? For what purpose would you use each one? Photo array lineup is when a group of pictures or photograps are shown to the eyewitness so be able to determine whether or not the eyewitness can identify the person who commited the crime. You would use this procedure if there are no suspects. You also use this when people that could be possible suspects already have a criminal record or have been convicted of a crime.

An in-person lineup is when a group of individual people who are lined up in person are shown to the eyewitness so be able to determine whether or not the eyewitness can identify the person who commited the crime. You would use this procedure if there are certain features in the body of the suspects such as “tattoos, scars, etc. ” that could help the eyewitness identify the suspect. The similarities of the two are that the eyewitness needs to try to point out a suspect, if any, whether it is in person or in photographs.

The difference is that one is in person and the other is in photographs. 3. Discuss the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment and give an example of how investigators may constitutionally gather evidence and not violate it. The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

” Basically, this means that the Fourth Amendment serves to protect you from law enforcement coming into your home uninvitingly. For instance, nobody should be able to enter your home, other than if you allow them to come in or they have certain documentation issued from the court known as a “search warrant”. Your personal and belongings that you own are also protected by this amendment. Same goes in this case. Nobody is legally allowed to touch, search or seize anything that is yours without permission from you or without a warrant.

Investigators may constitutionally gather evidence and not violate it if they stop or detain a person who might be suspicious of a criminal activity. As long as they have a probable or reasonable cause, they can do this without a warrant. The Fourth Amendment does serve to protect the people and the puclic, but it also provides a certain flexibility for investigators to investigate, distinguish, and stop criminal activities that go on.