Law enforcement has changed with the times. In the earliest incarnations of criminal investigations, police officers and detectives photographed crime scenes. Yet today, with the advent of DNA matching, hacking and many other surveillance methods, solving crime has gotten more hi-tech and scientific.
Since the law requires evidence to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, law enforcement has been known to employ various means of investigation to prove a case. They must take their responsibility seriously because alleged criminals have been known to go free because of a technicality with the evidence.
Releasing suspects on technicalities, such as accidentally contaminating a crime scene, can have wider costs within society. Additionally detectives overlooking crucial evidence can have a wide-reaching impact on a case.
Thus, criminal investigations typically involve multiple types of investigative methods on hand. Before any law enforcement can begin building a case, he or she must have approval from an organization or person with higher authority. Once the proper paperwork has been approved, the enforcement officials can then begin their work.
There are multiple means of gathering information to build a criminal case. It usually involves electronic surveillance, undercover work, hidden cameras and a multiple person methods.
Electronic means of investigations includes wiretapping and eavesdropping. Once a court order has been established for electronic surveillance, then investigators can begin to glean information from several methods. They can use their methods to tap into a suspect’s emails, the computer history, phone lines and more.
E-surveillance has been a necessary part of many investigations because the majority of the world, and surely developed nations have their lives controlled by their electronics. Smartphones, Internet history and emails have a person’s entire life on them. Access them and access invaluable information.
Yet, sometimes suspects are smarter than that. They know that their very moves can be followed through electronics and as a result, they minimize their activities through electronics and opt to conduct their illicit business face-to-face. However, the law has a means of gathering information even if they do not have an electronic trail.
Hidden cameras are still a very viable method of watching suspects. The earlier types of hidden cameras were bulky, but like most of today’s technology, they have become nearly undetectable. Hidden cameras have been known to be placed in everyday items.
Many times though, hidden cameras are combined with another method of surveillance. Undercover agents may sound crude, but today’s undercover officers are provided with technologically advanced means of remaining unseen in plain sight. Long gone are the days when undercover suspects and informants are outfitted with bulky wires.
Today’s undercover agents can be fitted with cameras which resemble buttons on a shirt or place a fully-functioning pen that doubles as a listening device in a pocket. Criminal investigations are becoming more technologically advanced than ever before in history.
These advancements in surveillance are necessary when traditional methods are combined with advanced methods to fight crime. Even though stakeouts are considered somewhat archaic, the police and other law enforcement members still rely on them when they are eavesdropping or performing other observation methods on a suspect.
Stakeouts typically involve multiple officers who are ready to move in on a suspect or informant if a situation becomes dangerous. A stakeout is the ultimate merging of traditional criminal investigative methods combined with the advanced.
Many criminals have become wise to technologically and law enforcement has had to evolve to continue to prevent crime. Law enforcement has devised the best strategies to investigate crime scenes and observe suspects.
Now, their methods are taking things to the next level and employing all means of electronic surveillance, science and traditional, foot-on-the-ground policing to solve crimes and stop more before they even start.