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Case Investigation Team
Before joining the team, I
underwent a week’s training in interviewing techniques. This is
about understanding the legal requirements of an interview and
learning techniques such as using open-ended questions that require
more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
But there is so much to do before
you get around to asking any questions!
Once a person is arrested, they
have to be assessed to find out whether they have any specialist
For example, you need to know
whether they are juveniles (under 17) and therefore need an
appropriate adult, whether they require an interpreter, whether
they want legal representation and whether they are physically or
mentally fit for detention and interview.
Once you have established these
things, you also need to go through the caution again, ensuring the
person fully understands it.
You can then get on with taking an
account of events from the person you are interviewing.
You have to ensure you cover all
the points to prove in legal terms or you could be jeopardising any
future court case.
If there are further witnesses, CIT
are normally tasked to take their statements too.
Quite often, there will be other
evidence to collate, such as CCTV images, photographs of a scene,
forensic samples etc, so after an initial interview, the suspect
may have to be released on police bail while that happens.
Once you have compiled as much evidence as possible it's up
to you to present all the facts of a case to the 'Case
Once you have compiled as much
evidence as possible it’s up to you to present all the facts of a
case to the ‘Case Director’ – this is usually a Sergeant who will
decide whether it’s appropriate to charge, caution, reprimand or
give a final warning (in the case of a juvenile).
In serious cases, for example
allegations of rape, murder or fraud, the decision is passed to a
solicitor representing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). CPS
solicitors are now employed at police stations during office hours
so these decisions can be made quickly.
They will decide whether a charge
can go ahead and if they are charged, whether the person should be
remanded (held in prison) or bailed for court (told to come to an
appointed court on a particular date).
A person may be remanded in custody
for several reasons, including where they may be a potential risk
to the public or witnesses in the case, or have failed to turn up
to court on previous occasions.
I dealt with around seven different
cases during my time on CIT which included allegations of domestic
violence, shoplifting and assault.
Most of the time you are based in the office or actually in
the custody suite
Most of the time, you are based in
the office or actually in the custody suite and it’s a non-uniform
role but you need to look professional in a business suit.
I learned so much from my time with
CIT. It’s a really good way to have an overview of how the
legal and judicial systems operate and how it’s so important to get
all the technicalities of a case correct from beginning to end.
Next time, I’ll tell you about my
placement with the Local Crime Investigation Unit. This team
investigates crimes such as burglary, assaults, robberies and
series of vehicle crimes.
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