To conduct an initial field search on site area ‘A’ at Miller Park, Preston. To look for any evidence of a disturbance or physical evidence from a crime being committed in the area. Objectives Record all features of the scene through diagrams, notes and photographs. Conduct a full search of the area and record any physical evidence found. Make contemporaneous notes of any evidence found including whereabouts, photos and significance. Come to a conclusion based on any evidence and signs of a disturbance. Location Avenham & Miller Park is located within walking distance from the busy city centre of Preston.
The map below shows a regional map highlighting Preston in the north west of England (fig. 1) and fig. 2 shows a local map positioning Avenham & Miller Park in the city of Preston (both maps courtesy of www. multimap. com). Fig. 1: Regional map of north west of England locating Preston in Lancashire. Fig. 2: Local map of Preston positioning Avenham & Miller Park in Preston city. The park is only 5 minutes from the train station and 10 mins from the bus station. From the main street in the centre of Preston, Fishergate, head down Chapel Street towards Winkley Square and onto Ribblesdale Place.
The search site was area ‘A’ at the far side of Miller Park (see arrow on previous map). Fig. 3 shows a sketch made of the area and initial search perimeters. Fig. 4 shows the Avenham & Miller Park and all the access routes for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Once at Avenham Park follow the path/ road down the hill pass the pavilion in the far corner (south) to the rail house and go under the bridge. Once through the metal gates there is a long stretch of road (south east), follow this right down to the end until you reach the second rail bridge which is on the right.
Directly ahead on a downhill slope is search site ‘A’. This consists of manicured gardens and the huge rockery display behind. Methods Search area ‘A’ was allocated to a team of 4 people who arrived at Miller Park at 10. 30am. Access routes were established and perimeters checked. Area surveyed and potential evidence photographed and recorded. Photographs taken from all angles of the site and close ups taken on specific features. Contemporaneous notes taken during the search including details of weather, ground condition, specific features, and evidence found.
Adhere to health & safety, be aware of the dangers. Results & Discussion Entry and egress routes were established first. The park is accessible from many routes but the main entrance at Avenham Park is accessed from Ribblesdale Place. This access point has bollards allowing permitted vehicles only, which is the same situation at the access point to Miller Park. Avenham is north east to Miller with a rail bridge entrance and large metal gates, padlock visible which is likely to be locked when the park closes (tbc).
To the north of the bridge a track is clearly visible showing constant use of the short cut, leaves moved aside and many shoeprints – too many for an efficient footwear cast to be made. From here a long stretch of road with mature gardens to the south east leads on to another access point, a second rail bridge with bollards. This bridge is north of site ‘A’ and adjacent is an access route behind a set of benches (see Fig. 5). At the top of this path is a multi storey office building and the area is clearly used by staff for cigarette breaks, notable litter and cigarette ends, the path has a central line cleared of leaves showing regular use.
To the north and running in a north west direction, alongside the railway track, is a very large rockery display incorporated around a path leading to two ponds and access to the river Ribble. The rockery area to the north holds several hiding places (see Fig. 6). The path shows clear signs of frequent use (cleared central line of leaves) up to the point where the path reaches the circular planted gardens – search site ‘A’. The remainder of the path shows little sign of usage. Fig. 5: Picture showing access route from higher path used regularly by staff at the offices in the background during breaks.
This path is located to the north of search site ‘A’. Fig. 6: Picture showing large rockery walls and adequate storage areas for hiding incriminating evidence. Located north east of search site ‘A’. There are two ponds east of search site ‘A’, which is very murky and undisturbed. Leaves covered the surface area making it difficult to determine depth and nothing available to drop in to determine depth of each pond. Estimated size of the first pond, located at the bottom of the rockery wall path, to be approximately 18ft x 8ft and teardrop shaped. The second pond has an 8ft drop opposite the first pond and is west to site ‘A’.
Approximate size is 35ft x 15ft which narrowed to approx. 6ft at the smallest point and 20ft at the widest point, in a kidney bean shape. Both ponds could hold weapons and other evidence but closer inspection of the ponds would be required. The far west of site ‘A’ displays the river Ribble, easily accessed and runs all around the south border of both Avenham & Miller Parks. The river provides an excellent opportunity to dispose of any evidence, bodies or weapons with a little chance of retrieval due to the current and size of the object. A car park and a fourth access route is situated adjacent to the river, south west to site ‘A’.