When you evaluate the efficiency of an investigator, a significant standard is his ability to gather factual evidence and information. Below are some usual sources of information that the investigators may use.
1. Physical evidence
Physical evidence includes clothing, papers and documents, fingerprints, photographs and personal effects, wheel marks, footprint, notebooks, identification cards, credit cards, tools, and every identifiable objects and traces that you can find at the crime scene.
2. Scientific tests and experiments
This type of evidence may be provided by advanced, precise equipments maintained by law enforcement agencies, research institutes, private investigative agencies, universities, laboratories, and medical centers. As an investigator, you may find such sources are very useful.
3. Records and documents
A great deal of information can be found in some of the records and documents of some particular agencies. The investigator must know and how to obtain that information. In some states, information is available under the public records. But if you know the type of information that government and private agencies provides, you can use these sources more effectively. In most instances, law enforcement records would be unavailable. But once the defendant are arrested and charged with a crime, some information would be available.
4. Information from People
Despite all databases, libraries, volumes of files, and latest reports available, people remain our important sources of information. Taxi drivers, journalists, clergy, court employees, as well as experts and highly placed professionals have provided information that has led to the effective conclusions of many cases. And as one of the sources of information, people fall into two general categories: informants and clients. If you are an experienced investigator, you can better understand the importance of people as resources and takes a great deal of time to contact them.
Finally, other two simple rules will help you when you searching for information. First, develop sources of information before you need them. Second, take the time to learn the sources in your locality and strive to develop new ones. Remember, no one is required to give you information. So ask for assistance in suitable way. A clever investigator develops his sources carefully so that he can obtain information on a personal basis when he needs it.