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Plog

Case Investigation Team

9th February, 2010

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 requirements.

 

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.

 

Quote (Open)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'Quote (Close)

 

 

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.

 

Quote (Open)Most of the time you are based in the office or actually in the custody suiteQuote (Close)

 

 

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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