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Uses of Mobile Application in Crime Scene Investigation

Generally, crime scene is a place where the crime occurred. Crime scene reporting is an integral part of investigation and reconstruction. An Investigating Officer normally documents the crime scene with the help of photography, recording, sketching, and notes taking. Measurements for the overall crime scene and the documentation for permanent records, trial review, and crime reconstruction will be taken during crime scene sketching. Usually, measurement taking is a tedious task and time consuming as well. It requires much effort and several personals involvement.

Below, I would like to mention that in one of the study, how successfully I have used mobile applications in IoS, and Android to measure the crime scene and the evidences. This was done in a more sophisticated way and was way easier than the traditional measuring tape method. 

The accuracy of smartphone applications for crime scene measurements has not been analyzed widely so far. Previously few works have been done on MobileCSITM by Siamese Systems. In some previous studies researchers have implemented a series of difficulty metrics for the visual appearance of a user interface. Consumer analysis with several mobile apps to assess the quality of the metrics has been performed.

This blog is all about, where we created a mock crime scene to simulate the actual crime scene (please see the figure below). The evidences were well marked for the purpose of identification, and several photographs using close up lenses, and aerial photography were also taken. After which, we have started the measurements. There were three series of measurements taken as:

1. Traditional Measurement Tape Method.
2. Measurements by Android Application ‘Tape MeasureTM’
3. Measurements by Apple application ‘Measure’ 

Simulated Crime Scene
Simulated Crime Scene

The statistical testing is used to check whether there is a significant difference between the means of samples of different measurements taken i.e., manual Tape Measure and mobile application methods that can be attributed to specific characteristics. Below are some of the images taken during the measurements:

crime scene measurement
Crime Scene measurement by manual tape method.

Below image shows one of the example of the measurement by Android application:

Crime Scene measurement by mobile application ‘Tape MeasureTM

Below image shows one of the example of the measurement by IoS application:

Crime Scene measurement by mobile application ‘MeasureTM

As detailed earlier, that statistical analysis (t-test) was performed to see the accuracy of the applications as shown in the table below:

This is just an example, full article link is given below

Conclusion: Accurate measurements of the evidence on the crime scene is a crucial activity to be done by the investigating officer or on the spot by the forensic experts themselves. This helps to better investigate the crime, create the modus operandi, the corpus delicti and helps to reconstitute the crime. The traditional method is quiet time consuming, required number of officials and have chances to misplace the evidences. After the thorough analysis of both the mobile applications considered i.e. Tape MeasureTM and MeasureTM it was found that both the applications are moreover better than the traditional measuring tape method, however, consideration should be given to select the accurate point of measurements in the application, correct position of the mobile camera, stableness of the mobile camera, and angle of photography selected. 


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