Private and Public Criminal Investigation Comparison Paper
Research major differences between public criminal investigations and private security investigations.
Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper identifying the major differences between public criminal investigations and investigators and their private security counterparts. Include the following in your comparison:
The differences and similarities between sectors, including the methods of operation during criminal investigations and the chain of command.
At least two situations where private and public investigators must interact.
Identify sources of information, both unique and common, to each sector.
Explain scientific methods used by both sectors to investigate crimes.
Identify challenges or potential issues of investigations that cross jurisdictions.
Provide an example of an actual case that highlights aspects of both security and criminal investigations based on your comparison.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. When writing your paper, be sure to separate paragraphs and each new section/category should be titled in bold. This will make for a very presentable, easy read. Also – prior to submittal – be sure to review anything the spell and grammar checker may have prompted. Numerous spelling and/or grammar errors will result in a loss of points
Private and Public Criminal Investigation Comparison Paper
In the forensic departments within the state, it is imperative to recognize the differences and the similarities between public and private criminal investigation. This paper will focus of a comparison between both public and private investigation. Public criminal investigation is carried out by sworn state or federal police officers or units and legislation that have been stipulated by the US constitution. On the other hand private investigation is conducted by a private investigator that is a citizen and does not utilize state or federal resources to conduct the investigation (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012).Private investigators experience some constitutional barriers, for example, the use of Miranda warning immediately before the witnesses to a given case can give a warning. Most of the public investigators have to stick to a given law unlike the private investigators who are not obligated to a number of laws. Hence a private investigator can perform his tasks as assigned by the “any” client for a given duration of time. Alternatively, public investigators are assigned to a specific precinct at a given duration of time (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012).
In terms of organizations and departmentalization, public investigators usually have a specific department within the criminal department’; for example prostitution crimes department, narcotics department, homicide department and so on. In contrast, private investigators are free to work at any field of crime: for example, a private investigator can be found working in fraud, prostitution and homicide department. Another core character that distinguishes private investigators is that when they stumble over a criminal act in the course of work, they are not obliged to report such activities to their clients (Osterburg & Ward, 2000). In the case of public investigators, they are strongly bound by the law to report any criminal activity they come across within their precinct. Failure to do so, they will be held liable to prosecution in any state of federal court for withholding important information. All in all, private investigators focus on individual benefit, unlike the public investigator who focuses on the good of the society.
Methods of Operation
Public investigators follow distinct protocol before any suspected is arrested. First, in a public criminal investigation scenario, a signed warrant by the district attorney must be issued for investigation to take place, after the investigation, if the evidences at the precinct are related to the suspect; an arrest warrant is then issued for the suspect to be apprehended. In public investigation, the chain of command is determined by the ranks within the given criminal department. In the US, there are centralized states and decentralized states. The centralized states have a common public criminal investigation department while in the decentralized states have a number of bureaus for criminal investigation. The chain of command in the police department entails the director of police as the highest ranked officer in the department, followed by the assistant to him, then the chief of police (COP), assistant COP, the captain, the lieutenant, the sergeant, a corporal and lastly a police officer (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012). Such a chain of command differs from one state to another within the country, but for public criminal investigations the chain of command must be addressed fully. On the other hand, private criminal investigation works on individual grounds or in a partnership of two or more (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012). Notably, all the private investigators must be licensed to take any activity that involves criminal activities, therefore, members of a team of private investigators are licensed and their decision to allocate each member a task that they have to perform unlike the public investigators where strict policies have been stipulated and duties are allocated in terms of their ranks within the police department.
Areas of Interaction
The differences in how the two types of investigators do not inhibit them from interacting work wise. Both parties always come into interaction with it comes to gathering intelligence or evidence in cases like homicide or assault. In a case of homicide or assault, there must be a medical examiner authorized by law to evaluate the witness or victim. At this juncture, both the private and the public investigators need this information to proceed with their cases. Also, the two parties will interact when presenting their evidences in the court of law. Newburn, Williamson and Wright (2012) stipulate that both public and private investigators always share information on intelligence in most cases but they are cautious when sharing the same information with other parties so that they can incidences where evidence can be used against them in a court of law.
Sources of Information
The main sources of information for both private and public investigators are the witnesses who are available on a given case, forensic officers, media, and other technical expertise involved in a given case. Comparatively, public criminal investigators have a unique source of information, case in point, Office of the public District Attorney. The district attorney is the initial authority who is informed of any crime according to the law. The district attorney is also one of the officials who are responsible for signing any warrant of arrest or investigation. Private investigators are required by law to apply for information from the public offices and follow stipulated guidelines within the law so that they can access some important information (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012).
Scientific Methods in Use
With the availability of forensic science, both public and private investigators utilize the new scientific method of forensic science to cover crime precincts. Forensic specialists are well trained and educated with excellent expertise and proficiency that is need to carefully examine a crime scene, they collect significant evidences and analyze them to come up with solid conclusions on the possibility of a DNA match to the offender that might link up to the perpetrator of the crime (Marshall, 2009).
Furthermore, both parties also use the services offered by other professionals such as experts in areas of technology. Recently, forensic science has introduced the computer forensic experts who have the ability to trace evidences that are technological in nature, especially in IT. Other methods that are included in scientific methods of investigation includes use of profilers who are specialized in linking the evidences with the profile of a possible crime perpetrator in terms of age, race, gender, social skills, occupation and so on (Brandl, 2014)
Potential Issues and Challenges of Investigation that cross Jurisdictions
First, the most potential issues that face public investigators are the presentation of information that might be unsubstantiated by evidence and deprived proper paper work. Such might pose a greater legal risk to the public investigator. In terms of jurisdictions issues, the private investigator has no jurisdictions to arrest an individua (Newburn, Williamson, & Wright, 2012)l. Moreover, he has to present the evidence that clearly depicts the guilt the perpetrator to the public investigator since the public investigator has the jurisdiction to do so. Additionally, public investigators will need an arrest warrant so as to arrest a given suspect.
Conclusion and Example
Conclusively, a good example that
depicts such comparison is the FBI-IBM case. The case is one of the biggest
industrial espionage ever documented. IBM went on and hired security experts
who collaborated to form Glemnar Associates firm. They faked that they were
lawyers to the IBM and were interested in selling IBM’s trade secrets to
Mitsubishi and Hitachi. The joint operation between the FBI and the IBM
investigators led to an arrest of 21 individuals and IBM filing a suit to
Hitachi and other companies for trade secrets violation.
Brandl, S. G. (2014). History of Criminal Investigation. In Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. New York: Springer New York.
Marshall, A. M. (2009). Digital forensics: Digital evidence in criminal investigations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Newburn, T., Williamson, T., & Wright, A. (2012). Handbook of criminal investigation. New York: Routledge.