THE ROLE OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS IN SOLVING CRIMES IN NIGERIA CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1Background of Study

The term “Investigation” encompasses a wide range of disciplines, and each discipline with its own different practices. These disciplines present wide variability in regard to techniques and methodologies. Some of the disciplines are laboratory based (drug analysis, and toxicology), while other disciplines are based on interpretation of observed patterns by the experts (fingermarks, writings, tool marks). Some of the activities requires the expertise of people trained as scientists in analyzing them (chemists or biologists); also there other activities are conducted by both people trained in law enforcement and scientists (blood spatter experts, crime scene investigators, crime reconstruction experts), medicine (pathologists), or laboratory methodologies by lab technologists. Empirical application of science is the main process that forensic scientists use.  The main aim of Investigation Science is to gather intelligence and enable the judge in making decisions in court by means of a scientific approach through evaluation of evidence (Cardinetti and Cammarota, 2005:80).

Crime scene investigation is traced as far as 1750. It is in that year that Henry Fielding created a small group of volunteers in London, referred as the “Bow Street Runners”. These volunteers hurried to scenes of reported crimes and began investigations, thus becoming the first modern crime scene detectives (Swanson et al., 2003:4). Crime scene investigation, as it is known today, dates back to the 17th century in China, where a Chinese team of investigators evaluated crime scenes, examined physical evidence and interviewed witnesses and suspects (Owen, 2000:13).