Rood reviews: Crime Scene Investigation by Hendrik Lochner and Rudolph Zinn

Nov 4, 2015 | 2015, News

The Rule of Law as a fundamental principle of our constitutional state is only a reality if crime, irregularities or transgressions are detected, investigated, and the perpetrators identified and brought to book.

Crime Scene Investigation is a practical guide dealing with the management, control and processing of “scenes of incident”.  It deals logically with every necessary step from responding to a call-out, controlling or securing the scene, avoiding contamination of evidence, handling of persons on the scene, and the recognition, protection, recording, collecting, packaging, marking and transportation of physical evidence.

The co-authors have a wealth of experience in crime investigation in the South African Police Service.  Hennie Lochner holds a Master’s degree in forensic investigation, and a BTech degree in Policing and Security Risk Management.  Professor Rudolph Zinn has a doctorate in Police Science   Both are acclaimed published authors.  Their common sense approach, illustrated by actual examples, is aimed at supporting the professional conduct of investigators tasked with solving a crime and those who are first to arrive at the scene.

Extensive coverage is given to investigation aids including fingerprints, ballistics, pathology, dog handlers and trackers, blood-pattern analysis, electronic evidence, and cellphone analysis.  Methods of searching a scene and managing extraordinary circumstances such as fire scenes, explosives and bomb sites, dangerous and hazardous materials, and mass and multiple scenes are all dealt with meticulously and methodically.

This book is the latest release in the Legal Essence stable of the Juta Legal-Ease Series, setting out clear and practical frameworks with useful pointers and helpful guidelines to equip the reader with a solid working knowledge of the content in a legal context.  The expertise of the co-authors in doing so in detail with a complex and intricate subject makes this an essential handbook not only for police investigators, but also corporate investigators and those tasked with civil claims and disciplinary cases.  The co-authors encourage all those with such responsibilities to “continually update their knowledge, skills and abilities through training and academic development.”  This is a fascinating, informative and instructive volume and a valuable contribution to upholding the Rule of Law.

Review by Louis Rood BA LLB (UCT) of Fairbridges Wertheim Becker.


By Hendrik Lochner and Rudolph Zinn (189 pages)

Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd