Just how likely are you to become a victim of crime? It is believed that crime is increasing in many cities across the United States. Most of the country’s large cities, from New Orleans to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, have disturbingly high numbers of violent crime (which include murder, rape, and assault) as well as property crimes such a thefts, burglaries, and break-ins. Living in today’s world, it’s no wonder why so many people have chosen to protect their homes, themselves, and their families with security systems, stun guns, pepper spray, personal alarms, and a whole host of other devices designed to give you peace of mind and help you thwart an attack.What do the statistics show about the level of crime in the United States? Last year, there was a violent crime every 22.8 seconds, and an aggravated assault every 37.8 seconds. No matter your gender, age, or location, it is critical that you protect yourself before you become part of these statistics.There were almost five million acts of violence with female victims reported in the United States last year. Three quarters of these women were attacked when alone, and half were attacked by multiple assailants. Thirty percent of female victims of violence were attacked by someone they knew well. There are more than half a million rapes reported in the United States each year. These statistics underscore the need for women, especially, to protect themselves. Carry pepper spray in your handbag everywhere you go. A stun gun shaped like a cell phone or pepper spray disguised to look like a pen can be great choices, especially when you consider that many of these crimes are perpetrated by attackers who know their victim.According to the FBI, there are more than seventeen million property crimes such as burglary in the United States each year, including a burglary every twelve seconds and a violent robbery every 70 seconds. The average dollar loss per home invasion is about $1,725 to $2,000, and by far houses are the biggest target for break-ins. Clearly, property crimes are a huge problem in the United States. When you consider the danger your home is in, as well as how much property you are risking by leaving it unprotected, it makes sense to protect your home with alarms, security cameras, and other devices.Much can be learned from the method of entry for most home burglaries. About two thirds of residential burglaries occurred during daylight hours, while many people mistakenly believe that their home is at greater risk at night. A third of all home invasions happen right through the front door, while another quarter enter through a first floor window, and nearly all of the rest enter through the back door or garage. In nearly all cases, any alarms or other security systems on the home were not turned on or armed at the time of the burglary.Historically speaking, property crime tends to increase when the economy is not doing well. Since we are currently in a recession, it is all the more important to protect yourself, your home, and your family.
You have heard of crime labs where scientific testing takes place on the TV show CSI. How is a forensics lab different from a clinical lab? How did a forensics laboratory come about? Where did it come from? What kinds of testing go on in a forensics lab?Both forensics and clinical laboratories use the same scientific equipment and follow the same research protocols. However, in a clinical lab, testing with the purpose of diagnosing and treating the sick is carried out from a live patient. A forensics lab performs testing with the aim of establishing links between a suspect and a crime.The Very First Crime LabIn 1923, August Volmer (1876-1955) of the Los Angeles Police Department established the nation’s first forensic laboratory. About six years later, the first privately owned forensic lab was established in Chicago following the investigation of Chicago’s notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Calvin Goddard (1891-1955), America’s leading firearms identification expert at the time, was able to deduce a connection of the killings to Al Capone. Because of his expertise in firearms identification, two businessmen saw a potential in Calvin Goddard and funded further development of his crime lab at Northwestern University where he became a professor of police science. This new lab enveloped the other disciplines of blood analysis, fingerprinting, and trace evidence analysis under the same roof.Then in 1932, Goddard helped establish a national forensics laboratory for the FBI. It is in this lab that nearly all forensic services known to law enforcement are performed. Today many states have used the FBI forensics lab as a model for their own state or local labs.Common Procedures Done in a Crime LabTechnical scientific analyses offered by modern-day crime labs and medical examiners’ offices are diverse and complex. The number of services supplied by a particular lab is inherently dependant upon its size and available funding. State and regional labs may provide a wide range of services, and local labs may provide only fundamental testing procedures. In general, small crime labs usually outsource more complex testing to larger regional labs. Moreover, the FBI’s National Crime Lab offers services to all law enforcement agencies all over the country. An FBI crime lab can perform just about every type of scientific test. It also has access to databases covering everything such as tire-track impressions, fingerprints, shoe prints, and postage stamps.Larger laboratories may offer separate departments for each discipline, while smaller labs tend to encompass various services. Sometimes, there is an individual technician who is hired to do all the work. This is what the grunge character, Abby Sciuto, the forensics expert on the TV show NCIS, does. If this is the case, it would be smart for her to outsource the work to larger reference labs.What are the common procedures done in a crime lab?• Fingerprint analysis• Tool mark and impression analysis• Blood analysis• Ballistic reports• Trace evidence reports• Toxicological testing• DNA analysisNo doubt, a crime lab technician has his work cut out.With advancing technology, there will be newer services offered for crime labs all over the country. This will make it harder for perpetrators to get away with murder, bank robbery, or sexual assault.