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Crime and Policing

Crime Scene Investigations with the Guardia Civil

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The Servicio de Criminalística (SECRIM) is the unit of the Guardia Civil in charge of crime scene investigation, using technical tools and methods, with the aim of defining and proving the evidence that will lead, first to the arrest of the offender, and, eventually, to a conviction in a court of law. To this end, its specialists are responsible for drawing up the expert and technical reports, requested by both the Judicial Authority and the Guardia Civil units, which may help to clarify the circumstances in which the crime took place.

This Service is part of the Criminal Investigation Police Department, under the command of a Colonel of the Guardia Civil, and is divided into four Sections, each headed by a Lieutenant Colonel: the Identification and Crime Scene Section, the Police Techniques Section, the Forensic Analysis Section and the Support Section.

Since 1982, the SECRIM has a multidisciplinary Central Laboratory in Madrid, as well as other smaller laboratories in the different regional and provincial headquarters, many of which have been accredited by the National Accreditation Entity (ENAC) to perform various types of tests, providing added reliability and guarantees to the work carried out by the professionals who are part of these laboratories.

The Central Laboratory is divided into the following Departments: Chemistry, Environment, Biology, Engineering, Handwriting analysis, Ballistics and Tool Marks, Crime Scene, and Identification. All of them are equipped with modern technology to carry out tests that lead to the scientific clarification of crimes.

The Guardia Civil officers who form part of these departments have academic qualifications in different scientific fields and a high degree of specialisation achieved after completing the specific training plan of each department, which lasts about two years. In order to achieve the highest standards of quality leading to objective and reliable conclusions using scientific methods, the SECRIM investigators undergo continuous training, developing new investigation methods and techniques and applying new technologies to the field of forensic science, all through its R+D+i department, which collaborates with universities and companies in this sector, as well as other national and international institutions.

The members of the SECRIM participate in numerous international working groups, especially the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes, being highly recognised by the international forensic scientific community, thanks to the high standards achieved by the quality management system implemented by its Quality Management Department, in charge of coordinating annual internal and external audits, which allow them to maintain the more than 70 accreditations held by the laboratory.

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