U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence

First Responding Officers

Crime Scene Integrity: Reducing the Risk of Contamination

Home  |  Glossary  |  Resources  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Course Map

Image of smoking, drinking, littering overlaid with red do not do symbol
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

The risk of contamination of any crime scene can be reduced by limiting incidental activity. It is important for all law enforcement personnel at the crime scene to make a conscious effort to refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, littering or any other actions which could compromise the crime scene. Because DNA evidence is more sensitive than other types of evidence, law enforcement personnel should be especially aware of their actions at the scene to prevent inadvertent contamination of evidence.

Back Forward