Monthly Archives

June 2016

Nothing like starting the week with a bit of environmental scanning! Light Monday morning reading, full courtesy and acknowledgement to Crimeline, who signposted the articles in the link below with the following commentary:

The new guidance has sparked some commentary from leading lawyers, including Corker Binning partner Andrew Smith who wrote:

“A section 2 interview is a powerful investigative tool used by the SFO. The CJA deprives the witness of the right to refuse to answer questions, either on the basis of a duty of confidence owed to a third party or because their answers would be self-incriminatory.

The SFO has not explained why it considers the old guidance to be deficient, nor has it identified the problems the new guidance seeks to remedy. Reading between the lines, however, the new guidance appears to be a response to a number of connected phenomena which the SFO perceives as having inhibited the obtaining of information during a section 2 interview.

Innovative developments in the guidance include not stating whether a lawyer will generally be allowed to represent the witness in the interview, lawyers will unlikely be able to attend the interview if they are unable to demonstrate that they owe a duty of confidence to any other person involved in the investigation, and that only one lawyer will be allowed to attend the interview, amongst others.

When viewed as a whole, it is difficult to understand how much of the new guidance assists the SFO in making a more informed determination about the risk of prejudice to the investigation.

Some elements of the guidance are justifiable in curbing the worst practices of some lawyers, but others appear to serve no purpose at all. These elements will lead to contrived results and suggest a misunderstanding, or indeed cynicism, about the nature of the proper role performed by a lawyer.

There is ultimately a risk that the SFO, in constructing this elaborate extra-statutory scheme, is alienating the very people upon whom a successful prosecution will depend. It is to be hoped that the SFO puts into practice the words found at the start of the new guidance; that “interviews under section 2 must be conducted with great care to ensure that they are carried out fairly”.”

Worth a look at SFOs policies towards witnesses:

Link to SFO documents here

“Standard interrogation, which includes badgering and lying to suspects until they confess, is psychological torture for the young and mentally frail. Now there’s a better way.

Davontae Sanford was dressed in his pajamas, standing on the front porch of his house on Detroit’s east side on a September night in 2007, when he saw police searching the street with flashlights. A few hours earlier, two blocks away on Runyon Street, four people had been shot to death, and the cops were searching the neighborhood for clues. Sanford asked the officers what was going on; a few minutes later he was telling them he might know who the killers were”.

Comment:

Excellent article that articulates the issues really clearly. One cautionary note, with evolution PEACE is not so much a ‘model’ for interviewing, more a ‘framework’ within which the truly skilled and competent investigative interviewer utilises the many models at their disposal, whether it be CM, CI, ECI, (maybe even elements of Reid or WZ as appropriate?) switching flexibly between them as conversation merits and ethics/regulation permit. A cautionary note, beware training that lacks currency, local context, subject matter expertise, and evidence based advances in the discipline.

In the UK PEACE was rolled out 25yrs ago with all the best intentions but (understandably) with little context and experience – it was new after all! Interview training then evolved into 2 schools of thought, often with a firewall between them, suspect interviewing and witness interviewing, an unsophisticated ignorance that suspects often became witnesses and vice versa, doing little to counter investigation (confirmation) bias! That an interviewer inevitably encounters suspects who ‘want to talk’ (need for CI/ECI), perhaps to demonstrate innocence or defence? Equally witnesses who find talking about an incident difficult necessitating a period of conversation management.

At www.intersolglobal.com our subject matter experts position competent and skilled interviewing as a golden thread running through Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®) not as a stand-alone element – the key being ‘investigative’. Our associates are at the cutting edge of interview innovation, constantly applying research to practise.

Thanks for such an informative piece and good luck with the work, it’s a real pleasure to be working collaboratively.

Link to article here (courtesy of Take Part)

About one quarter of wrongful convictions stem from false confessions.

“We at The Independent have reported on several cases in Colorado and elsewhere in which police have coerced statements from criminal suspects. Often, these suspects are developmentally disabled, highly suggestible and all too easy to push around – especially when law enforcement is under pressure to “solve” a crime. Now there’s a fix”.

(Colorado Independant)

Steadily increasing impetus for the mandated recording of suspect interviewing in the US opens another ‘trap door’ to be negotiated, that of inadvertently recording and exposing poor practice.

There remains an urban myth that ‘just because you are police officer you are a competent interviewer’, that one goes ‘hand in glove’ with the other. This is simply not the case, yet forensic quality interviewing and the testimony it leads to remain a cornerstone of justice. Two things underpin an investigation, physical evidence (crime scene) and witness memory (memory as a crime scene), the former is strictly managed to ensure accuracy and continuity whilst eliminating contamination, the latter usually enjoying no such protection. Recording interviews is one measure to improve that situation (and yes, the author extends this thought process to witness interviewing), it also enables proper evaluation of content, actions and performance in addition to being a check and balance for inappropriate conduct.

When recording is linked to eliminating confirmation bias and confession culture, internal and external verification, and competent (contemporary) evidence based interview training and tactical application of evidence within that process, miscarriage of justice arising from suspect interviews will be minimalised if not eliminated.

For every suspect wrongfully convicted another remains at large and more victims are created, an equal miscarriage!

Intersol Global are world experts of evidence based interview training. They maintain currency, relevance, and position themselves at the cutting edge of innovation. Furthermore they differentiate themselves from other interview training providers by contextualising their training packages with the client and their unique experience of where interviewing fits at every stage of Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®). Intersol Global consultants worked with suppliers to design the business requirements for cutting edge server based recording technology, piloting and rolling out the solution in the UKs second largest police force and now adopted by the largest!

With an international footprint in Europe, North America, Canada, and Australasia, Intersol Global are perfectly placed to train, develop, and strategically support and advise on all ECM® and interview elements.

At Intersol Global we are passionate about this discipline, please feel free to contact for an informal discussion at info@intersolglobal.com

Link to full article here

Following a successful pilot in the North of England, Intersol Global have joined with Total Communication CIC to design this workshop.

“You suspect a safeguarding issue; perhaps CSE, elder abuse, modern day slavery, or are presented with a client with dementia or learning difficulties, maybe abuse within a healthcare setting?

What will you do next? How will you secure the best quality information? What if it leads to an investigation, maybe even a court case, tribunal or serious case review?

This workshop is different, its primary focus isn’t on recognising safeguarding issues, you’re already skilled at that, it’s more about what you do after. How you deal with ‘victims and witnesses’, make and keep accurate records, demonstrate clear rationale and a robustly informed audit of decision-making that withstands close scrutiny”.

“Without doubt the best training we’ve had, our staff haven’t stopped praising it” (HR Director)

Link to flyer and more detail here: Safeguarding Workshop

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission awarded $17 million to a whistleblower Thursday, the second biggest payment since its whistleblower program began nearly five years ago.

The award went to a former company employee whose detailed tip “substantially advanced the SEC’s investigation and ultimate enforcement action,”

Whistleblowers can be eligible for awards when they voluntarily provide the SEC with “unique and useful information that leads to a successful enforcement action.”

Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of recoveries when amounts collected are more than $1 million.

Full FCPA Blog article here

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Bill Winters found more than just bad loans when he took over Standard Chartered. He says he uncovered a culture where a few senior managers flouted ethics rules for personal gain and considered themselves “above the law.”

The lender is cracking down after “recent transgressions” concerning some employees’ outside business interests, close financial dealings with co-workers and excessive expenses, according to a series of memos issued over the past two months that were seen by Bloomberg News.

In an effort spearheaded by general counsel David Fein, the British bank, which does almost all of its business in Asia and emerging markets, is also beefing up its internal investigation team with former detectives from the FBI, Scotland Yard, Hong Kong police and the New Zealand intelligence agency.

Full Report Here

“After what attorneys are calling a failure of the justice system, a Wayne County judge has ordered the release of Davontae Sanford, 23, of Detroit, who had been serving almost nine years in prison for a quadruple homicide that his lawyers argue he didn’t commit”.

Another case that has interrogation and ‘confession based culture’ at its heart.

Absolutely proper that the value of a confession within any CJS is recognised but it is imperative that all associated risks are recognised and managed. This is particularly so when the suspect is vulnerable for any reason (as in this case) and when there are no other or inadequate checks and balances, for example audio and/or video recording, presence of a lawyer or appropriate adult (or both!).  The outcome of such a miscarriage is catastrophic, both for the innocent suspect that is wrongly convicted but equally for the many other victims inevitably created because the real offender has escaped justice – an all too frequent event globally.

Incompetent and poor interviewing (even illegal?) has been a universal feature of every investigative review and gap analysis undertaken globally by Intersols consultants. Don’t expose your organisation to unnecessary risk, contact info@intersolglobal.com for a free consultation and explanation of how we might help.

Link to full article here

DATE: Thursday 12th and Friday 13th May 2016
Location:College Court, Leicester, UK
Theme: Collaboration, Innovation and Identification: The Future of Forensics.

Our conference saw delegates attend from interested parties in the forensic sector including forensic companies, suppliers, experts and academics. Great presentations were delivered from fantastic Guest Speakers sharing their knowledge on the fields of expertise and was complimented by exhibitors showcasing their companies.

Ian Hynes (CEO, Intersol Global) Memory as a Crime Scene: Contamination and the Forensic ‘Cold Storage’ of Witness Testimony, and Tactical Use of Forensic Evidence in the Interview Process.

With a background of 38 years international investigative experience, Ian was the Interview Manager and Advisor for Greater Manchester police (GMP) for 12 years until August 2014 when he became the CEO of Intersol Global Ltd, a unique collegiate association of world-renowned consultant practitioners and academics combining hundreds of years experience of the highest quality investigation and investigative interviewing. (See www.intersolglobal.com).

Link to Newsletter here.

 

 

There are too many poor quality investigations into babies who die or are severely brain damaged during labour, a review says.
The warning by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists comes as it publishes its preliminary report into how problems during labour are investigated.
More than 900 cases have been referred to the programme.
Of the 204 investigations reviewed, 27% were found to be of poor quality.
The review has also been looking at the number of cases where parents have been involved in the investigations – nearly three-quarters of the 599 reviewed did not involve them in any meaningful way.
Ministers said the findings were “unacceptable”. The final report is due in 2017.

Intersol Globals team of world class experts can add real value, quality, and excellence to investigations and review.

The product of the sausage machine will only ever be as good as the quality of the meat put in, Intersol Global ensure that the product is world class and exceptional.

Full BBC report here