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Criminal Justice

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Fire is an incident that raises many questions that result into too many answers that may be relevant when filing a case. It is important to protect the crime scene from any contamination. Once the fire extinguishers have put off the fire and it has cooled down, the investigation can start immediately in the area of the scene in order to collect evidence by finding out what has been used to cause a fire, its origin, and possible motive.

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Arson cases must include a search, because it involves many people and many issues. For any investigators to do search and seizure in the area of the scene, they must obtain warrant for the activities to be termed legal. They can get a warrant issued from the judge after obtaining affidavit showing cause of the search. In this case, the warrant is not probable, because it is an emergency; therefore, it is impossible to obtain a warrant before the search is done. In order to determine origin and cause of fire in the scene immediately after the incidence, no warrant is required, unless other reasons for search are identified. There is no warrant for putting off the fire or for the investigators to search for origin and cause of the fire.

In the scenario, the chief battalion presents various evidences, such as gas containers that smell residual of gasoline. Moreover, the media source provides evidence; for instanc, termination of employees because of gender issues. This should be investigated and analyzed carefully. Evidence found in the scene and the origins of fire as per the search, such as available containers of accelerants, must be collected, tested, and analyzed to get possible cause. It is important to avoid contaminating the samples of evidence, area of fire, and the materials used to keep samples. It is important to record all details to ensure that no information is left out.

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Action to the Onlookers to Help in Identifying the Offenders

Crowd of onlookers can provide useful information regarding the incident, its origin, cause, and motive. They comprise a group of witnesses that saw the fire, as well as smelt and heard about it. Let the crowd cool down and identify the caller to interview on when the fire started, where it was first seen, what lead to the fire, what was done, and who were present. Moreover, it is important to identify those willing to talk about the fire and gather relevant information, those, who were in the scene first should be given a chance to speak. It is appropriate to interview each witness alone, so that the information is not influenced or otherwise modified, and that relevance is altered. It might also be reasonable to collect the photographs and video recordings taken by the onlookers on their phones and cameras. In addition, any available information should be considered: from the owner, fire fighters, and ppolice if any, because civilians may be unreliable.

Areas to Check to Ensure the Scene Can Be Searched Safely

According to the Novandon Discount Departmental Store case, the chief battalion related three areas as the origins of the fire. Upstairs in the rear section of warehouse, upstairs ladies’ clothing department, and the downstairs of the entrance of store to garden and outdoor section are the main areas to check in order to ensure safe searching of the scene. These are the areas believed to be the origins of the fire, so searching them would be an appropriate action.

Personnel Records and Other Business Papers to be Requested for Investigation

Personnel records and business papers may provide relevant information for further investigation. They should be considered to provide information according to the facts collected in the case. For example, personnel records, such as human resource documents, need to be investigated, because according to the media source, there was an issue dealing with termination of contract of 18 female workers. Therefore, human resource documents will shed more light on the employee relationship and gender issues in employment. Human resource department will also provide records that contain employee complaints, if documented, in order to ascertain if any of them relate to the case.

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