Baseline mechanics

Baseline mechanics

Baseline mechanics deals with the qualitative methods used to obtain the original data on the particulars of a crime that has been committed. This entails the use of research to obtain a clear view of the behaviour of individuals and the roots behind the acts that are done by that particular person (Hazard, 2014). Research executives are used to find out the information which in turn forms a strong base for a certain crime. In other words, baseline mechanics refers to methods used by crime analysts to obtain original information in the understanding of human behavior about particular crimes being investigated.

Example of Baseline Mechanics

The Locard’s Exchange Principle can be used as a baseline mechanic in criminology. This principle states that the person committing a particular crime brings it into the scene and also must leave something that is of use during investigation due to the contact involved while doing the offence and this will hence be used as evidence against the wrongdoer. These proofs include fingerprints, hair, blood, marks on paint and semen and a good example is in rape cases, and therefore in crime scenes, forensic is obtained by professionals as the baseline of the crime (Hazard, 2014).

An example of a crime where the exchange principle was used is;

Use of hair, fibres and fingerprints

Danielle- Westerfield Case.

A girl named Danielle van Dam who lived with her parents in California was reported missing, and a few days later her body was found where the neighbor Westerfield was taken as a suspect although he had gone camping in his RV. This was because hairs of the van Dams dog were found in the neighbor’s RV and fibers from Danielle’s carpet. Fingerprints were also looked into the crime although no traces of their neighbors were found.

Conclusively, baseline mechanics in criminology provides original details to a crime and forms a basis of evaluation of that particular crime. The use of the mechanics gives the investigators clear focal points as to where they should form a base of an investigation.


Hazard, D., & Margot, P. (2014). Forensic science culture. In Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 1782-1795). Springer New York.


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