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Forensic Supplies Press Release

May 05, 2004

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Polaroid Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence Photo Documentation

For Immediate Release

Domestic Violence Statistics:

  • Every fifteen seconds in the U.S. a woman is a beaten
  • Police estimate that 40 to 60 percent of their calls are related in some way to domestic violence
  • Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year to 3.9 million women who are physically abused by their husbands or live-in partners per year
Why Photo Documentation:
  • Proper documentation of domestic violence is crucial in establishing the "chain of evidence" needed to prosecute cases.
  • Photo documentation helps prosecutors secure early guilty pleas from offenders, reducing court costs and caseloads.
  • Instant photo documentation helps increase domestic violence conviction rates. Specifics include:
      * San Diego - 90 percent conviction rate
      * Los Angeles - 95 percent conviction rate
  • Cases can be successfully prosecuted without the victim's testimony when proper documentation is provided.
  • Bruises fade with time, but photos depicting injuries do not.
Why Instant Photos:
  • Instant photos are tamper resistant, unlike conventional 35 mm and digital images.
  • Instant camera users can see immediately that the right image was captured, minimizing the number of photos taken per case.
  • Instant photos provide evidence before officer leaves the scene, unlike 35 mm photos or digital images (which can be improperly exposed or "lost").
  • Instant photos become part of the case file immediately, particularly important for fast arraingments.
  • More than 50,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. report using Polaroid cameras to document domestic violence injuries.
Evidence to Capture with Photos:
  • One-on-one or close-up photos of victim's injuries - fresh bruising, abrasions, or lacerations
  • A second close-up or mid-range that includes the victim's face for identification purposes
  • Indications of past abuse - scars, cluster or faded bruising, this could be evidence of abuse over an extended period
  • Check for defensive injuries, especially on the forearms
  • Document the scene of the violence -overturned or broken furniture, smashed pictures, mirrors, glass or dishware, phones ripped out - these photos show the severity of the violence
  • Any evidence of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Any violence against children, images showing them crying, scared, upset or injured
  • Batterer, if present at the scene, or a copy of their photo if they have fled.

Polaroid Spectra Close-up Kit :
Purchase of Polaroid's Spectra Close-up Kit includes:

  • Top-of-the-line 1200 si (Spectra) instant camera with autofocus, self-timer, autoflash and carrying case
  • Close-up accessories, including easy-to-use light-lock close-up lens
  • 1:1 copystand that photographs objects at their actual size
  • Domestic violence photo documentation training video
  • Hands-on workshop demonstrating how to appropriately document evidence and crime scenes through instant photography
  • Pricing: Kit prices range from $129.95 to $249.95 based on quantity purchased.
For more information on Polaroid Cameras and Film for law enforcement, please call 800-811-5764, ext. 163 or visit www.polaroid.com

Polaroid