Criminal Investigation Processes, Practices and Thinking | Alison

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Introduction to Criminal Investigation: Processes, Practices and Thinking

Learn about the process, practice, and thinking behind conducting a criminal investigation with this free online course.

Free Course
This free online criminal investigation process course will introduce you to the processes, practices and thinking of criminal investigations. Criminal investigations are imprecise undertakings involving unpredictable, still-evolving events with incomplete information to guide the process. As there are no precise methodologies, this course will teach you about the important concepts, legal rules, and processes utilised in criminal investigations.





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In this free Criminal Investigation Process, Practices and Thinking course, learn about criminal investigation steps that are essential to maintain law and order and give justice to the victims of crimes. As there is no precise methodology this course will teach you about the important concepts, legal rules, and investigative processes that must be respected in every investigation.

The course begins by introducing you to criminal investigation procedures as a thought process and a brief history of criminal investigations. Next, you will learn about evidence: the different types and categories, along with searching, seizing of evidence and why some would be excluded in court. The course then teaches you about the investigation process and related issues such as event classification, the rules of engagement, the three main investigation errors, and the STAIR tool.

You will learn about managing witnesses, including the types of witnesses, how to measure their competence to testify, and how to go about interviewing them. You will also learn about the management of a crime scene, taking notes about the scene, protecting the integrity of the scene and the management of evidence. The course also teaches you about interviewing, questioning and interrogating suspects and how each of those processes is different from the other. Finally, you will learn about the forensic sciences involved in criminal investigations to arrest assailants or suspect, in terms of gathering evidence, analyzing crime scenes, and finding the cause of death in homicide cases. Start this course today and learn about the processes, practices and thinking behind conducting a criminal investigation.

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Introduction to Criminal Investigations

Some Important Basic Concepts

What You Need To Know About Evidence

The Process of Investigation

Strategic Investigative Response

Applying the Investigative Tools

Witness Management

Crime Scene Management

Interviewing, Questioning, and Interrogation

Forensic Sciences

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the need to think through the process of a criminal investigation
  • Identify the traits that tend to be found in good investigators
  • Discuss what the burden of proof, the proof beyond a reasonable doubt and what reasonable grounds to believe are
  • Discuss and define Actus Reus and Mens Rea in  criminal investigations
  • Discuss the various types of evidence and their categories
  • Identify how to classify a criminal event as active or inactive
  • Recognize the different types of witnesses that there can be
  • Discuss how to keep the integrity of the crime scene and the processes in doing so
  • Discuss the proper handling and management of evidence
  • Discuss the processes for interviewing, questioning and interrogating suspects
  • Discuss the forensic sciences that are essential to modern day criminal investigations


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:

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