The Role of Drawing in the Context of Criminal Investigation

  • Marina Vale Guedes
  • Carlos Farinha
  • Carlos Gregório


This article addresses the importance of graphic representation in the field of criminal investigation. In fact through the mechanisms and the act of drawing, processed in its majority by software, it is intended to unveil all the capabilities of this tool in the illustration and understanding of a particular crime. Throughout this study we searched to define the role played by the drawing as part of the investigation, highlighting its potential in the process of solving a crime. Assuming that drawing, as part of the Criminalistics, is permeable to scientific investigation, and considering that drawing, as such, has only been scientifically treated in a very superficial way (up to this moment), there is a need to analyse the story and the silver linings of the image created from a particular crime — the image that studies, explains and reveals (and unveils) the crime. Taking into consideration the internship developed at Lisbon’s Laboratory of Scientific Police (LPC — Laboratório de Polícia Científica de Lisboa) a reflection organised under analytical and methodological objectives that seeks to understand the concerns of drawing in criminal context is propounded. The first group of objectives aims towards understanding the presence of drawing in the department of ‘criminalistic image’ by analysing and decomposing the processes of representation used in the criminal field. As to the methodological objectives, it is proposed to highlight the procedures used when drawing is applied in criminal investigations, thus following a case study that makes it possible to understand how drawing contributes to the analysis of a particular crime.

How to Cite
Vale Guedes, M., Farinha, C., & Gregório, C. (2016). The Role of Drawing in the Context of Criminal Investigation. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (14), 78-81. Retrieved from