FORENSIC SCIENCE AND
Sherlock Homes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple have fascinated a number of curious minds for a number of years. Not to forget our very own Karamchand, Byomkesh Bakshi who made investigations ever so fascinating. To add to it the crime shows on various channels of TV like CID, Crime Patrol, Khotey Sikkey, Dial 100, Tehkikaat, Castle have added to the popularity of investigative sciences like forensics.
Forensic science is the application of science to the investigation of crime. When a crime is committed there are many different types of evidence found at the crime scene. It could include trace of any object, paint, soil, blood, saliva, body fluids, digital evidence, plant material, bones, documents, fingerprints. Forensic Science uses physical science such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics to analyze the evidence found at the crime scene, uses that analysis to help the law enforcement to catch the criminal and most importantly presenting that evidence in the court.
While Criminology is the study of crime. A criminologist uses different social sciences such as sociology, psychology to understand crime and criminal behavior. Criminology typically includes studying different types of crime, the causes behind the crimes, the occurrence or incidence of crime in various parts, the consequences of the crime as well as the society’s perception, different rules and punishment and preventive strategies for crime.
To become a Forensic Scientist one needs to first complete Bachelors’ in Forensic or Physical or Biological Science and further pursue M Sc [Forensic Science]. To become a Forensic Pathologist one has to complete MD in Forensic Medicine after successfully completing his/her MBBS.
There are Graduate as well as Post Graduate courses in Criminology. One can pursue it either after 10+2 or after having a graduate degree in Arts or Science field. Criminology is also offered as a specialization at the Masters level in Social Work.
For Forensic science the required traits and skills are,
- Inquisitive mind
- Eye for detail
- Focus on accuracy
- Tolerance and ability to adapt to difficult situations
- Good observation skills
- Methodical approach
- Problem solving ability
- Analytic thinking
For a successful career in criminology one requires to possess,
- Inquisitive mind
- Interest in human behavior
- Ability to work in teams
- Problem solving skills
- Research and analytical skills
- Observation skills
However one has to understand that the work areas are not very welcoming or defined. Infact, one needs to be mentally strong to deal with the worst of human behavior as well as settings as working with criminals as well law enforcing agencies simultaneously is not an easy job.
A Forensic Scientist can work as Crime scene Investigator, Forensic Pathologist, Trace evidence analyst, Expert analysts in forensic specializations. A Criminologist can work as analyst, teacher, reviewer and reformer of law, revising ways of criminal rehabilitation and as researchers working to improve the criminal justice system.
Both these fields offer opportunities in:
- Government and private forensic labs
- Private detective agencies
- Government agencies such as CBI, IB, RAW
- Crime cells of police forces
- Juvenile Shelters
- Rehabilitation Centers
Crimes have been committed from time immemorial and continue to happen in today’s world too. With the increasing need for effective measures to stop and prevent crime, Forensic Science and Criminology has become a necessity. This field is constantly evolving with the development of new technology and new ways of investigations.
Passion giving justice will definitely bring success for an aspiring crime fighter or the new generation Sherlock Holmes.