As the world continues to increase in technological sophistication it is becoming increasingly apparent that the definition of “crime scene” is not always limited to a physical location. In cases that involve use of the Internet in the commission of a crime, it is often the “cyber” location that is of chief concern. This distinction is opening up entirely new avenues of investigation, and calling on crime scene investigation specialists to develop new and previously unforeseen skills. This fact was experienced firsthand by a group of students from a New Jersey high school recently.
The Forensics Club at Boonton High School in New Jersey recently completed its participation in the eighth annual crime Scene Investigation Forensic Competition at Caldwell College. This year’s topic: cyber bullying. In the competition each team was instructed to select a crime scene at random, with each of the scenes having varying details but being similarly constructed on a whole. The teams were each given investigative tools and taken to their respective crime scenes by a local police officer who remained with the team and acted as a judge.
Each team was composed of 10 students, which all played a particular role from sketch artists, to evidence collector, to photographer. The teams were judged on a variety of criteria including the accuracy and detail of their sketches, evidence collection procedures, and fingerprint documentation.
The competition is meant to help students get more involved in the field of crime scene investigation, and this year’s competition – which focused on cyber bullying – doubtlessly helps students to realize that the crime scene can be a concept which includes more than just the physical location.
According to a school administrator, the team significantly improved its point total from last year, gaining 39 out of 50 possible points.