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Approaches in Criminal Investigation

There are many types of investigation methods used by investigators. They comprise inductive reasoning, theory, synthesis, priori, posterior, deduction, hypothesis, classification, and analysis. Any of these approaches assist investigators in their investigations. Inductive reasoning is the method of thinking that starts with concrete details to draw a general inference (Osterburg & Ward, 2019). It allows investigators to illustrate that there could be other scenarios or possibilities in a crime.

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Deduction is a procedure of systematic thought and logic that leads to a definite response or conclusion. According Osterburg & Ward (2019), this type of investigation is syllogising. Syllogism is a method of reasoning where a conclusion is reached and, in this case, deductive reasoning changes from the general to particular. It helps investigators ensure that a general statement or information is followed up with a clear response.

Classification is the logical organizing of items in categories. Objects can be random, regular, or rational. They may have similar properties in which they are categorized. According to Osterburg & Ward (2019), Biology has developed a taxonomy for the classification of organisms; Chemistry, for the study of compounds; and Enforcement agencies, for the filing of fingerprints, firearms, DNA, a broad variety of typography, and automotive paints.

Linking or combining the separated components is known as synthesis. When the elements are combined, they offer an intelligible explanation of the law-breaking case and its resolution. These components can include the witnesses’ evidence, the forensic examination, and the details disclosed by the documents. It might help the police recreate the crime to identify any missing pieces of the crime and solve it.

Analysis is gathering data from persons, documents, and physical evidence and then analysing to produce a conclusion. To provide an analysis for the case, the investigator must collect this information. The data allows inspectors to have a clearer picture of the crime and potentially specific crime facts. A hypothesis is a well-thought or cautious guess based on an interpretation of data. To find further facts or provide an idea about the next action to be pursued, investigators use a hypothesis. At times, the hypothesis may be incorrect, resulting in modifying it to make more sense or change the next action differently. Other investigators should also test the theory to ensure that they all agree. According to Osterburg & Ward (2019), other investigators may have a different view or think more proof is needed.

As Osterburg & Ward (2019) say, a theory is a thinking scheme with conclusions selected to match scientific experience or findings. A theory may be seen as similar to a hypothesis, although there are variations. The cause or anticipation of a particular incident or event such as a crime is itself a theory. By taking it and using it to build an image of what might have occurred in a case, investigators profit from a hypothesis.

Owing to Osterburg & Ward (2019), a priori is deductive or theoretical thinking based on purpose and effect. An inference is based on self-evident concepts, which is a form of argument based more on speculation and has not been fully confirmed. By interpreting all potential scenarios of a case, verifying that they have equal opportunities, and selecting the most appropriate one, investigators gain from this rationale. As described by Osterburg & Ward (2019), posteriori is inductive thinking based on empirical facts learned via experience or experiment to establish general concepts, and which is a form of reasoning based more on experience. More experience and expertise are included in this form of logic. Investigators gain from this logic when showing facts or offering a crime with a more seasoned reason or explanation.

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According to Osterburg & Ward (2019), there are three strategies that help investigators reconstruct a crime; these are people, physical proof, and records. By performing an interview or questioning, investigators interact with individuals. Individuals may have information on what they observed during a crime. Inspectors use physical proof to discover evidence by performing forensic tests. Physical evidence may include details sich as a type of weapon used, the examination of fingerprints, and the offender. Investigators use documents to show associations with offenders or personal information that may be of interest.

Crime reconstruction is essential to the art of investigation and is useful for investigators. According to Bandyopadhyay (2018), it is the method of evaluating the series of events regarding what happened during and after a crime. Crime reconstruction includes identifying witnesses, suspects, relating facts to the suspect or victim and arresting the suspect. The identification of witnesses would assist and at the same time benefit the detective. Learning this knowledge will likely give you your next step. It may also help build on your theory and even uncover new crime-related facts.

Identifying suspects would encourage the investigator to perform interrogations to extract the information required for the case or justice. The perpetrators should describe precisely what their purpose was and why they did it. Any other guilty parties involved in the illegal act can also be revealed by naming the perpetrator. Getting this information will contribute to the crime being correctly reconstructed.

Linking the evidence to the crime or the victim will show that they were involved directly in the crime being committed. These details are critical because they can help in the reconstruction of a crime once they are inter-connected. It is also essential to solidify the case and give the green light on apprehending the perpetrator once the evidence proving that the individual is guilty has been received. After having surveillance on the suspect, the investigator must first establish a hypothesis about him. Once there is a reasonable guess about the offender’s next move, approach the person, and arrest him/her comfortably and calmly.


Bandyopadhyay, S. (2018). Analysis for crime scene investigation and reconstruction. Forensic Science & Addiction Research, 3(3). Web.

Osterburg, J. & Ward, R. (2019). Criminal investigation: A method for reconstructing the past (8th ed.). Routledge.

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