Criminology is the study of crime as a social science. It includes not only the general study of crime but also the effects of it on the society. It looks at why certain areas have crime rates higher than others, as well as how crime affects victims. Criminology is a field of study that deals with offenders and crimes. So, criminology is focused on the study of crime and what causes it, while criminal justice is concerned with those who investigate crimes and capture suspects. Criminal investigation is an essential part of criminology. It is a field of applied science concerned with the examination of evidence in order to guide criminal investigation. A comprehensive criminal investigation may include interviews, interrogations, and a variety of other types of inquiries. Many current scientific methods, generally known as forensic science, are extensively used in modern criminal investigations. Many criminal investigative strategies are used to develop ties between the victim and any prospective perpetrators over the course of a criminal inquiry.
While carrying out the time-consuming and careful process of criminal investigation, there are several crucial legal and human issues to keep in mind, particularly with respect to health and safety.
Legal and Human Consideration during Investigation
To carry out the investigation effectively, it is necessary to maintain at least fundamental ethical and legal behavior. The law must be respected and obeyed at all times by law enforcement officers and investigators. They must not conduct any acts of corruption, and it is their responsibility to preserve and safeguard human dignity, as well as to maintain and support all people’s human rights. Furthermore, they must immediately report infractions of laws, regulations, and sets of principles that safeguard and promote human rights, and they must adhere to the principles of legality, non-discrimination, and necessity.
While conducting a criminal investigation, there are basic human concerns that must be adhered to without fail in order to achieve a successful and fair investigation. Investigators must remember that everyone has a right to safety and a fair trial, and that everyone should be presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a fair trial. Investigators must guarantee that there is no arbitrary interference with a person’s privacy, home, or family, that there are no illegal attacks on a person’s honor or character, and that no physical or mental pressure is applied to suspects, witnesses, or victims in order to obtain information. Investigators must adhere to the standards, which stipulate that torture and other cruel or humiliating treatments are strictly banned, and that victims and witnesses must be handled with compassion and respect. It’s important to remember that sensitive information should always be handled with caution and discretion. Investigatory operations that are arbitrary or unnecessarily invasive should not be tolerated, and investigations should be competent, comprehensive, fast, and impartial. They will be used to identify victims, retrieve evidence, find witnesses, determine the reason, method, location, and time of the crime, and identify and capture criminals. Above all, crime scenes must be meticulously processed and evidence must be meticulously gathered and kept.
Health and Safety Considerations during the Investigation
It is vital to stress that all key treaties, including the UDHR, the Banjul Charter, and others, guarantee the right to be treated in a fair and unbiased manner and to be free of cruelty or punishment. There are a few basic safety considerations to keep in mind throughout an investigation. This is because everyone has the right to life, to personal security, and to be free of torture, inhumane, or humiliating treatment or punishment. This is the case. As a consequence, throughout an investigation, peaceful tactics should be employed first, and force should be used only when absolutely necessary and for approved law enforcement aims. For the unlawful use of force, there will be no exceptions or excuses. It should also be validated that the use of force is appropriate for the approved goals.
The universal ban against torture and other cruel or humiliating treatment or punishment must be observed at all times throughout criminal investigations, even in the most serious of situations. This implies that those who are arrested or otherwise in the hands of law enforcement or prosecutors, whether as suspects or witnesses, have the right to be treated with compassion at all times and without fear of any kind of coercion or intimidation. Torture and other forms of ill-treatment are never justified and always prohibited, even in the course of criminal investigations. These are the kinds of crimes that need to be prevented, investigated, and punished. Attorneys, and other legal professionals must be especially vigilant in the case of detained women and children for signs of ill treatment.
The following are some of the most fundamental human rights that must be safeguarded during investigations into criminal activities. These include a number of rights essential to a suspect’s physical and mental safety, as well as the right to an effective defence at preliminary hearings and subsequent trial. Each and every legal professional has a critical role in ensuring the proper implementation of these rights. Investigators, including detectives as well as domestic courts, have a professional obligation to preserve these rights. They should be on the lookout for any indications that fundamental rights have been violated, such as the right to be free of torture, or the right not to be compelled to testify against oneself, etc. When these rights are evaluated with the basic rights to equality before the law, it becomes very obvious that international human rights legislation offers a strong basis for the creation of a judicial system based on the principles of individual rights and the law.
This blog is authored by Arnav Laroia, student of National Law University, Jodhpur