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  1. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    Crime Scene Information Disclosure

    Discussion in 'Research' started by HelloThere, Apr 18, 2014.

    So a guy walks up to a crime scene, how much will the police say to him? Will they give him details of the crime, who was involved, what happened to them, or will they just tell him to leave the area? It's not a big issue, but it's the little details I obsess over the most.
     
  2. Fronzizzle
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    Fronzizzle Member

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    I assume by "a guy", you mean just some random person on the street? And crime scene...are you talking about a taped off murder or robbery, something like that? It is going to depend somewhat on the individual officer, how chatty he/she is as well as how many other people (bystanders and officers) are around, but the general answer is "not much." The police aren't in the habit of just blurting out information because you ask. At best, they might tell you a general nature of the crime ("someone was attacked", "there was a robbery") but no, they aren't going to tell you "Mrs. Johnson was shot in the stomach and killed, then all her jewelry taken."

    Of course, this would change if "the guy" was a potential witness, but even then I don't think they'd give up too much info.

    What I've always wondered is, if some guy shows up and starts asking questions - even just general ones - does that raise a red flag for the police? On TV, they always make comments about people liking to watch the police or the perp returning to the scene of the crime - I have no idea if that is true or not.
     
  3. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    Yeah, my initial thought was that they would pass on basic information but I just wondered if they had any regulations that would prevent them from saying stuff.

    As far returning to the scene of the crime goes - I've read in a few places now that arsonists are particularly liable to do this. I guess it depends on the psychology of the criminal, a man who accidentally murdered his wife in a fight probably wouldn't but some of the more psychopathic types might feel a sense of superiority in doing so.
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    looks at the body and says, "Hey, that's my wife!"

    The police officer looks at him and replies, "Congratulations, sir!"

    :D

    Sorry, just being stupid! Yeah, they wouldn't tell him anything. He's just a guy who's getting in the way; they'd just move him along. :) If you're from the UK, I'd recommend buying Introduction to Police Work (ISBN: 978-1-84392-283-4). If you're not from the UK, I'm sure they'd be something similar out there which could help you with your research. :)
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Cops are rather cliquish at crime scenes. They rarely say anything to people who come upon the scene to just ask. If the cop knows the person, on the other hand, all bets are off.

    And if it is a witness they are interviewing, I have a creepy story. Years ago the next door neighbor to my boyfriend was murdered. The dead guy was a single gay man, back in the day when they were mostly in the closet. My friend's parents were very liberal and knew about their neighbor. Turned out he'd picked up someone invited him home to watch gay porn and the guy robbed and murdered him and stole his car.

    While the cops were interviewing my friend and his parents because they had found the body, the detectives made a bunch of really crude gay jokes. It was rather disgusting. I don't think they realized the family they were interviewing understood the jokes, and the detectives certainly were ignorant not to know my friends liked their neighbor. It was cringeworthy behavior for cops.

    The point is cops can be cliquish, unprofessional, and careless with information. There's quite a variety. The readers who aren't familiar with how common police misconduct is, however, are likely to balk if the cop on the scene gives up much information to an onlooker.

    The fire fighters, on the other hand, get a lot more drilled into them about patient confidentiality. They can also have members that are unprofessional, but I've seen much stricter confidentiality among the fire departments. So if they were investigating an arson, chances are they'd not talk to onlookers.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    These days, with so many news bloggers and people with cellphone cameras, the police are likely to be very much more careful about what they say. Asking a lot of questions at the scene of a serious crime without mainstream press credentials is likely to get you chased away or taken in for questioning. If you are really unlucky you could get tasered and your cell phone confiscated.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I always thought they'd say, "Sir/ma'am, please stand clear. This is a crime scene." Then if the person asked, they give out a general description of what happened followed by a dialogue that suggests it is now time for the person to leave.

    However, if the person did know the victim, the police might consider asking him/her questions pertaining to his/her relationship to the victim and when he/she last saw the victim, anything they feel will help them get closer to nabbing the perp.

    Once they're done, I'm not sure. Would the person have to fill out a statement form? I'm not sure, but yeah, generally they don't want random people loitering around a crime scene unless the person knew the victim/was a witness to the crime.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  8. Thomas Kitchen
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    They would ask him questions, but that particular police officer wouldn't; he/she is just there to make sure the crime scene isn't contaminated. The more likely situation is they'd hand the guy over to a detective, or at least someone more senior.

    EDIT: Sorry, I just saw that you said "police", not "police officer". My bad! :D But the point still stands for the OP's research.
     
  9. KeriLynn
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    Depends on who the guy is and the crime scene like if it involved his family member the cops will tell him more information but if it's some random guy they will normally ask you to leave and if you don't leave they can arrest you for obstruction of justice and possibly tampering with evidence.
     

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