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Evidence-based Crime Investigation. A Bayesian Approach.

LUND, E; (2014) Evidence-based Crime Investigation. A Bayesian Approach. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

I this dissertation I study the standard of evidence practiced in crime investigation. I concentrate on one recurrent decision-problem: That of assessing and deciding the basic, causal/logical, evidential value of means of evidence in given criminal cases. I restrict further to such problems when the means of evidence is based on imprints without transferred components (illustrated by bitemarks on human skin) and expert-knowledge about such imprints (forensic odontology and medicine). The question is: Which standard of induction can and should be required for crime investigative decisions in modern democracies? The answer depends on (a) the specification of “logical coherence” and (b) the analytical and institutional conditions and aims of crime investigation. Having established a minimum standard of evidence and the conditions and aims of crime investigation, I ask: (1) What is the current inductive procedure for determining the evidential value of means of evidence based on imprints in the form of bitemarks on human skin?; (2) does this procedure provide logically coherent justification according to the minimum standard of evidence identified I chapter 1? Two empirical studies suggest a procedure of the type “incomplete and open induction” and “no” to question (2). An alternative procedure, “complete and closed induction”, anchored in Bayesian Theory and Bayesian Inference Networks, is suggested, theoretically justified, and demonstrated in the last four chapters of the dissertation. The question is: This procedure provides logically coherent justification to the standard of evidence identified in chapter 1 and thus secures the basic shared epistemic aspects of trust-formation, but is it compatible with and able to secure the further and internally conflicting contextual/situational legal, social, and emotional aspects of trust-formation? The answer is a contingent “yes” – if it is restricted to the investigative phase and under-communicated during the last part of the trial phase: Epistemic needs are as necessary for trust-formation as are contextual/situational social and emotional needs, but the former is not directly compatible with the latter and must therefore be secured prior to the latter.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Evidence-based Crime Investigation. A Bayesian Approach.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright restricted material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1382400
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