Recognised as a crime scene

When the area has been recognised as a crime scene, then evidence would need to be collected and the crime scene protected. The scene must be cleared; the witnesses/ suspects cautioned and removed to the nearest police station, but before being allowed to leave the police or RSPCA should take pictures or videos of the site with witnesses /suspects and dogs in situ especially in context to the area and badger arena or baiting box. The dogs should be removed to an approved vet, probably the vet should also attended the badger on site to determine as to whether the animal is alive, and as to what treatment is needed if the animal can be saved.

Then cordon tape should surround the area, the locale should be as large as possible, and a common approach path should also be established. All vehicles belonging to the persons at the scene should be impounded for searching, and an officer left in charge of the area were the vehicles have been found The original officers at the scene should be sent with the witnesses/suspects to the station, but first the officer must have entered a log of the details, as a detailed description of the scene is very important and also it gives a written picture of how the scene was set out.

The preservation of the scene is extremely vital as what ever is found, will be used to help officers prove guilt or innocence. Owing to the fact that some evidence could be quite minute and destroyed or easily transferred, (transfer theory or Locards Exchange Principle) (Lee et al (2003) it is essential that the crime scene is evacuated of all persons who should not be there, as it has been known that suspects will try and re-enter the crime scene to contaminate themselves and the scene. To also help recognise the crime scenes and which locales should be examined more thoroughly, each one would be numbered as to their importance.

The badger would be scene 1 whether dead or not, the surrounding area up to and including the cordon would be 2, if the scene is close to a built up area 3 could also include the houses close by, the witnesses/suspects would be 4, the van they travel in to the police station would be 5, the cars/vans found to be belonging to the witnesses/suspects would be 6 and the area in the police station would be 7, the dogs at the vets surgery would be 8, and last but not least the home of the witnesses/suspects to connect dog to master 9.

All these scenes would have to be identified and numbered so that any evidence found would be correctly labelled as to which scene they belonged. The number of theses scenes would be flexible and established by the officer in charge. Once the scenes are recognised it would be the SIO's job to establish in which manner the search would be conducted and who would be searching for what and where. This if thought about is feasible it removes the chance of contamination by more than one officer walking across the crime scene, guide lines would also be set out as to what the officers were actually looking for.

Each officer at the scene now has an area to search, if the badger is dead it will be removed to the appropriate surgery where the vet will examine the damage and ascertain the method of death, and an officer will either return with the vet to the surgery or arranged to go later to collect any evidence that may have transpired. So the site were the badger had lain and the surrounding area would be examined for evidence as to the crime committed, if the 'sport' had been filmed this would reduce a great deal of the work, only needing to back up the film with such links as connecting the dogs to the people and people to the crime.

So from the tools, marks of usage around the area would be looked for, i. e. spade marks in the ground or on the badger, maybe fur or blood from the badger attached to the spade, the same could be said for the bolt cutters. A shot gun may have been used so a connection between gun and bullet could be looked for. The nets could have been used to transport animals from one area to another, so again badger fur or even fox fur may be found attached to the net and could be found deposited in the back of one of the vehicles parked nearby.

There may be finger prints or even foot prints which could be checked against a data base, quite often people connected to this kind of crime can be found to be connected to other forms of crime. The dogs could be found to have fur or even bone from the badger lodged in its mouth or may be passed later in faeces. New marks found on the dog could be linked to a badger's claw or teeth, which could be substantiated if found between the badgers claws or teeth substances connected to one or more dogs. This could be used as evidence against the owner of the dog and would further support the evidence of the film.