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Collecting physical evidence

Introduction

1. This section explains what physical evidence is and gives guidance on how to collect and use this type of evidence.

2. You should also refer to the guidance on the use of evidence bags, tags and labels in OM 2001/128.

3. Evidence is required to confirm, supplement or disprove reasonable lines of enquiry. If enforcement action or legal proceedings are subsequently taken, it may be required in order to prove that an offence has been committed.

4. Facts may be proved in court not just by oral evidence on oath, but also by ‘documentary’ and ‘real’ evidence (i.e. “physical evidence”). There is an overlap between these two types of evidence but, in general:

5. In addition to witness statements, you may therefore need to gather documentary and real evidence for the purposes of your investigation.

Updated 2009-10-07