Previously on the blog we have discussed arriving at a crime scene and finding a dead body.
But, what if your victim is still alive?
What do you do then?
Your first priority is to ascertain if your victim is alive or dead. If in doubt, treat as if they are possibly alive and call for an ambulance and give first aid.
This will, of course, disturb your crime scene and could potentially destroy material, destroy evidence. It may well be an attempted murder crime scene. But, preservation of life is important above all else.
To minimise the loss of evidence, a sketch of the scene might help, paying particular attention to the location of the victim. Bearing in mind, your victim may have been taken away before any CSI photographer gets there.
- Establish a single route in and out of the scene.
- Keep accurate records.
- Log details of the ambulance crew and details of the hospital.
- An officer should travel to the hospital with the victim.
If your victim is still alive at the hospital.
There are further actions you need to take.
- Seize their clothing.
- Establish their identity.
- Obtain a pre-transfusion blood sample.
- Obtain a medical opinion about your victim’s condition.
- Obtain details of anyone who visits.
- Obtain details of family.
- Considerate of medical advice, if the victim is conscious, obtain a first account.
A Dying Declaration.
This is when the person making the statement has since died or is expected to die. The statement is to be admitted in a murder trial. And it relates to the cause of death.
If the victim dies before arrival at the hospital.
- Treat the victim as a separate scene.
- Ask medical personnel to leave all clothing on the body.
- Ask medical personnel to leave all medical equipment that has been used, on and in the body.
- Ask for a medical opinion on the cause of death – though obviously, you’ll get a more expert opinion at the PM.
- Establish if the victim spoke to anyone before death, who it was and what was said.
Is there anything here you weren’t expecting?
You can catch up with all previous posts in the Writing Crime series, HERE
Rebecca Bradley is a retired UK police detective with over 15 years UK policing experience. Seven of those years were in uniform and the rest in a specialist investigative department where She handled multiple, serious and complex investigations. She is now a crime writer and offers a police procedural fact-checking service, available to all crime writers setting their work in England or Wales.
Please see THIS POST for further details.
Rebecca writes the DI Hannah Robbins series.
When catching a killer isn’t enough…
The naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway and post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.
Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team in the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock, they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?