Home > Forensics > DNA Crime Scene Collection

DNA Crime Scene Collection

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 19 Nov 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Crime Scene Evidence Criminal

Collecting crime scene evidence requires extreme care and attention to detail. One mistake and evidence may be damaged, tainted or inadmissible in a courtroom. Given how crucial DNA evidence can be for determining innocence or guilt in a crime, its collection at a crime scene must be performed to scrupulously high standards. Not only that, but DNA transport and storage must be performed to similarly impeccable standards.

Pinpointing DNA Evidence at a Crime Scene

DNA evidence is literally anywhere imaginable when it comes to crime scene evidence collection. The sources may be obvious or may be more obscure, which is why evidence collection must be performed very carefully to ensure that none is missed. DNA evidence may be found on the victim, particularly if the victim fought with the attacker or was sexually assaulted. It may be found from saliva on something as seemingly unimportant as a discarded cigarette stub found on the ground near the crime scene. In fact, consider that just one hair found at a crime scene or on the victim can be enough to help convict the perpetrator of a crime.

Collecting DNA Evidence and Keeping it Safe

Not only must DNA evidence be found but it must also be collected in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the DNA and preserve it for analysis. Generally, the most important pieces of DNA evidence are assessed for analysis first and then others are sequenced as needed for further information that can help the investigation.

When DNA crime scene evidence is collected, it has to be done very carefully because viruses such as HIV may be present and could pose a threat to those performing the collection. In addition, DNA need only be in a small sample to provide sufficient evidence, which means that great care must be taken not to contaminate the sample during collection, transport and storage. If a person simply sneezed on the DNA sample, this could contaminate the sample and render it difficult to assess or even useless. Newer DNA scanning and analysis technology allows for very tiny samples to be examined and any contaminants can destroy the accuracy of the sample, particularly when the technology involves replication of the DNA.

Transporting and Storing DNA Collected at a Crime Scene

Finding DNA evidence and carefully collecting it is still only a small portion of the battle to provide quality evidence. The sample must still be transported and stored in such a way that the integrity of its structure is safeguarded. Any DNA evidence needs to remain dry and free of moisture as well as stored at room temperature. After it is collected, it is typically stored in a secure bag or envelope and sealed. It also receives an appropriate label and is transported in a way that ensures it is securely monitored. If the DNA sample is properly collected, transported and stored, it can then be analysed to provide potentially important results to investigators.

Evidence at a crime scene is important to finding the correct perpetrator of a crime and helping to prevent an innocent person from being accused of a crime. If the DNA evidence is not collected according to protocol or if it is contaminated and poorly transported or stored, it may ultimately be useless for use as evidence in the case. If, however, the DNA evidence is properly collected, it can be vital in guiding the direction and outcome of a case. As technology continues to improve for analysing DNA, the basic rules of crime scene collection remain as important as ever to keep a DNA sample safe and secure.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hello if somebody only touches somebody else's trousers or outer clothing, can he be identified by DNA testing a year later
dr hasan - 19-Nov-14 @ 9:23 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rufus
    Re: Using DNA and for Immigration Purposes
    Hi. My biological father is Irish. But I have a different name on my birth certificate. I want to claim my Irish…
    11 December 2019
  • Barry
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat…
    25 November 2019
  • Sue ann
    Re: Paternity Tests and DNA
    How do you get dna from deceased person. If the person is buried where can dna be found otherwise???
    18 November 2019
  • joe
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    one day Joe was wih kyle and joe gave kyle head, kyle killed himself because joe bit weewee too hard. The end
    13 November 2019
  • HELLTHYBYER
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    I remember one day I was alone in my house full of people. It was completely silent in my very loud house. I have been diagnosed…
    13 November 2019
  • Lee
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My stepfather has had my mothers ashes since she died in 2016. He moved away ..remarried etc and is now finally sending whats left of my mum…
    6 November 2019
  • Barrie King
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My mother passed away naturally in 2016 and was cremated. I now have to prove her maternal status to me for birth certificate reasons. We…
    5 November 2019
  • iamthepickkleman
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    some on took my pickkles out of my pond. they where ok untill some fat guy took them. help me get by pickkles back in to the pond.…
    28 October 2019
  • Jeannie
    Re: DNA Testing for Pets
    Is there any way I can get a test done to find out what my dog died from I have samples of her poop and she only passed blood when she died I…
    21 October 2019
  • _xXFortnite GamerXx_
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    Why my DNA not give me pro gamer moves and big brain times?
    15 October 2019