ICSIA's Newsletter September 2015
ICSIA Examiner September 2015
Kyprianos Georgiou, Editor

From the Editor

 (The above image was taken from this site)
Dear members,

I hope everyone had a great summer and you are all refreshed and back to your daily routines. 

It is now time for our next newsletter "The Examiner".  Like I mentioned in previous editions, we will be exploring different issues that CSIs are phased with on their day-to-day work. This month's edition, we will be exploring the use of UAVs in CSI work. Throughout this newsletter, different sections are coloured in blue and underlined which will open new windows with more information and details about UAVs.  

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to contribute any articles in future newsletters, please do not hesitate to contact me through this link K.Georgiou@tees.ac.uk

Director's Letter

Greetings from the Director!

As I write this I am in the Chicago area, the homicide capital of the USA. The crime rate has always been high here as I worked this area as a police officer and CSI for almost 30 years and each year the numbers continue to climb. Unfortunately we are seeing more officers killed in the line of duty, some being ambushed. While we are not going to resolve these issues in a short time please be extra cautious at crime scenes and make sure you have sufficient protection at the scene while you concentrate on the job before you.  I have known CSI’s to be shot while processing crime scenes, it has been rare.  Be careful out there and stay safe!

This issue of the Examiner’s theme is on UAV’s.  I personally have some experience with them as I own three of them. I think they are a great tool for law enforcement and as CSI’s I believe they are a great tool for taking photographs and video from a different perspective. I find them to be a great tool to be used in searching for missing people or manhunts. They are much cheaper to use then planes or helicopters and can be deployed very quickly. I fully support their use. But having said that we also must consider the other side of the coin. In the wrong hands the drones can cause problems. So I do believe the use of the drones do need to be regulated, perhaps licensed and pilot tested. As we all know this Is not going to stop the illegal use of them. It is like Chicago having the most stringent gun laws in the country and yet has the highest homicide rate. You can regulate the good people but not the criminal.  It only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of us.
Plans are underway for the 3rd Annual CSI Conference. In May 2016 it will be at the Embassy Suites near the airport in Kansas City, Missouri.  The rooms are all 2 room suites, full breakfast and a social hour is included in the room rates. Free shuttles to the airports and to local shopping. Please check the web site often as the most current information on the CSI Conference will be posted there. Mark your calendars for the conference date and get your agency requests turned in to attend the conference in soon!  Since we are in the planning stages we are open to suggestions or comments. We are looking for presenters and if you are interested in giving a presentation or conducting a workshop or breakout session we will happily look at your proposal.  At this point we are looking at having general sessions kin the mornings and breakout sessions and workshops in the afternoon. At this point we are looking at repeating some of the breakout sessions so if you miss it one day you can attend the next day. We are also looking at a night session on night photography and perhaps a few mock crime scenes. The key to a successful conference is active participation by you as members. Please share the information about the conference with others. The larger the attendance the more we can offer.

Plan NOW to attend the CSI Conference May 19, 20 & 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri!
Stay safe!

Hayden B Baldwin, Executive Director
International Crime Scene Investigators Association


ICSIA's 2016 Conference

Kansas City, Missouri
Welcomes the 2016 ICSIA Conference.
May 19 - 21, 2016.

Book your place now for another great conference.

How can Drones be used to help in criminal investigations? 

by Kyprianos Georgiou

The use of drones has increased in recent years. Drone enthusiasts and other government and non-government organisations have taken advantage of this incredible tool in their day-to-day activities/business. With the technology improving sporadically, drones are now being developed having the capability to help in several ways.

In 2003, Mr. Jim Bowers, a drone-enthusiast from California formed the group S.W.A.R.M.(Search with Aerial RC Multi-rotor). SWARM is a worldwide volunteer network of Drone Pilots and they provide their help in searching for missing persons. They provide multi-rotor (drone) and fixed wing aerial search platforms for ongoing Search and Rescue operations at no cost to the S&R organization or to the family. This type of help can prove valuable for the police but also for the life of the missing person(s).

Another interesting and valuable use of drones is inagriculture, construction, mining, and land and resource management for gathering area data that needs to be looked at closely. This aerial “data acquisition” is fast and accurate that enables to take informed and targeted action(s). Drones are used in these disciplines for 3D Mapping AND 3D Scanning which can be used in crime scene work for creating 3D visualisation of the scenes. Below are included some videos showing the mapping of crime scenes: Another great tool used on Drones is the embedding of "Thermal cameras" in order to be used for security and surveillance. Some examples of how useful thermal cameras are in police work are below: Amongst others situations, drones can be valuable as a `walk-through` of crime scenes in a courtroom, allow the investigators to get a closer look at the scene, detect a missing person, identify persons running from the police and many more.

On the Web 

1) Sardrones.org: is a network dedicated to volunteering their services for Search and Rescue" (.html).

2) The following website are explaining the use of drones within Illinois Police

      -  Illinois State Police using drones

      -  Illinois State Police get FAA permission to fly drones

3) Dronelife: is a website dedicated to drones used for "Search and Rescue" (.html)

4) To the rescue! Why Drones in Police Work are the Future of Crime Fighting: This website explaining how the use of drones can be helpful in police work (.html)

5) Draganflyer X8 Helicopter - This page describes in detail how this particular UAV is used within several government organisations. Interesting to see the variation of uses of it (.html).

6) All three links below are describing the use of drones in crime scene investigations.:

      - Drones Add a New Dimension to Crime Scene Investigations(.html)
      - Drones give Royal Canadian Mounted Police "new perspective" of crime scenes  (.html).
UAVs Bring New Dimension In Crime Scene Investigation (.html)

Online Training

ICSIA collaborated with the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Arkansas to produce an online training course: Crime Scene First Responder For The Uniformed Officer

Future Editions of "The Examiner"

The themes for the following 2 editions of the "The Examiner" are:
  1) November 2015: Photographing and documentation of evidence and crime scenes.
  2) January 2016: DNA

If you would like to contribute any papers/articles/stories from your experiences about any of these themes, please do not hesitate to contact us here with your papers in order to include them in our future newsletter.

Thank you


Pix4Dmapper software automatically converts images taken by hand, by drone, or by plane, and delivers highly precise, georeferenced maps, mosaics and 3D models. They’re customizable, timely, and compliment a wide range of applications and software. 

For for more information about Pix4Dmapper Pro click here

Crime Scene Photography: Capturing the Scene

By Dick Warrington

This article originally appeared in Forensic Magazine® August 2009, Reprinted with Permission.

As a crime scene officer working a traffic fatality, homicide, theft, assault, or any other kind of case, you must capture an accurate record of the scene and the evidence collected. In order to provide a complete record of each scene, you need field notes and diagrams, along with relevant still photographs that correlate with those notes and diagrams. While you do not need to be a photography expert to take crime scene photographs or testify in court about these photographs, you do need to have a solid understanding of the proper way to photograph a scene.

Read the full articlehere

Above photo by: John- MTSOfan on Flickr.com


Formed in 1999,Cellebrite has worked with a number of agencies world-wide. They can help in criminal investigations by analysing mobile devices, websites, cloud systems and many more.

Click here for visiting the website. 

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