Dutch police investigators are obliged to create multiple hypotheses and scenarios to avoid tunnel-vision. A crime scenario can be defined as a chronological description of how, by who and why the crime has been committed. This description is based on evidence and the reconstruction of a crime. Scenarios assist in creating lines of inquiry, and thinking in scenarios helps to decide where to search for evidence. However, creating multiple scenarios based on the same facts is difficult due to the influence of various psychological processes. The importance of creating workable scenarios is widely supported, yet little is known about the content of investigative scenarios used in practice. The results of our experiment in which police investigators created two crime scenarios based on one crime scene photo will be presented. This study gives a first insight into detectives’ expectations about the crime and the evidence. Results show the difficulty of creating multiple scenarios based on the same facts. Future research will focus on psychological processes and the decision making of scene of crime officers at the crime scene. This is an important aspect with the introduction of bringing science to the crime scene.
6 Dec 2012
14th Conference of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology