Do Investigators Rely Too Much on DNA?
UCR Clearance Rates are SlippingBy: Joseph Giacalone
Swinburn University of Technology in Australia.
What is happening to good "old fashioned" police work? I'll tell you what. The constant attack on eyewitness identification procedures has led investigators to rely heavily on forensics to satisfy the ever increasing appetite of the "CSI TV" trained jurors. How else can the police compete with television science fiction?
One would believe that clearance rates would be rising dramatically in the CSI Era, but they are not. What is the reason? The FBI's Uniform Crime Report shows (UCR) clearance for Murder has slipped into the low 60s percent for arrest where it was historically in the 70s. How can arrest clearance being going down with all of this new technology? There may be several. First, many police departments were downsized during the great recession and with that lost a lot of experience. The same result can be found with the mass retirements we have seen in the public sector with all of the talk of pension reform and cutting back of benefits. Many police officers / investigators got out when the getting was good. Can you blame them?
Who is left to carry the torch? Who is training our new wave of investigators? Are we training our new investigators are the questions that police administrators will be forced to answer with rising crime rates and slipping clearance rates.
Tell me your thoughts.