Monthly Archives

June 2017

Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways.

Waiting in the lounge for a flight to California to attend and exhibit at the annual International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (IIIRg) the author happened across this excellent article from National Geographic within a Twitter post by an eminent forensic psychology research expert, Professor Lorraine Hope. It perfectly sums up so many elements of the importance and vital part lying plays in all our lives. WE ALL LIE!

What’s crucial to investigation and professional workplace fact-finding interviewing is to distil the truth from lies, fact from fiction, and expose those lies that are relevant to, and impact on, the findings and outcomes. It is the internal and external scientific validation of an account an interview offers that is crucial, not whether 80 year old technology indicates someone might be under stress and lying about ‘something’.

Interestingly the most telling note was that the imagery of the polygraph was taken from an American museum – long should it remain there!

The article is excellent and well worth a read. If anyone reading this is at the conference please take a moment to contact and meet us at the Intersol stand. We’re passionate about the discipline and have decades of practitioner experience and learning to share.

Link to full article here:


Conflict Mediation – just one outcome of Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®)

ECM® drives out many outcomes and solutions from a workplace ‘problem’. Mediation is just one option and is proving to be an increasingly popular and effective outcome from any case that has been managed ‘extraordinarily’. At Intersol we proudly engage with the very best to present a holistic solution and support for our clients. It’s what sets us apart from others in the market place.

Why Mediate?

Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes. It is a forward-focused process aimed at finding common ground and positive outcomes. It provides an opportunity for the participants to be heard and empowers individuals to resolve their own conflict, without the involvement of the courts. The ‘win-lose’ outcome of litigation can be avoided in mediation process, with settlements that are mutually satisfactory to all participants, saving time, energy and money. The process is consensual and the participants decide whether an agreement can be reached and its terms. Any information shared by one participant, cannot be disclosed by the mediator to the other participant unless they have express permission. Any participant may withdraw from the mediation at any stage.

When and Where to Mediate?

The process of mediation is flexible and focuses on the needs and interests of the individuals who can mediate as soon as they are ready to talk about a resolution of their dispute.  What takes place during a mediation is confidential and cannot be used outside the process in any subsequent legal proceedings. Mediation can take place with, without or before the involvement of lawyers and before the issuance of any legal proceedings, or as directed by a court.There are no set rules as to where a mediation can take place. Usually, the process is held at a location agreed by the participants. Conference rooms at the Chambers of 9 Bedford Row are available to host mediations by arrangement.

What to Mediate?

Mediation can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes. These include community and neighbourhood issues, insurance matters, contractual claims, building or boundary disputes, landlord and tenant disagreements, professional negligence matters, to name just a few. The mediation process can be shaped to meet the needs of the participants and the particular details of the dispute. In short, flexibility is mediation’s greatest strength. Further, any information shared by one participant, cannot be disclosed by the mediator to the other participant unless they have express permission to do so. Any participant may withdraw from the mediation at any stage.

Gillian Higgins, a senior Intersol consultant, is an accredited civil and commercial mediator to international standard.  She is also a workplace and employment mediator. With 17 years experience of internal and international conflicts from an international criminal law perspective, Gillian is also expertly placed to advise on and mediate in complex, politically-sensitive conflicts. She also lectures on civil and commercial mediation as a member of the faculty of the London School of Mediation.

The link to her Mediation service can be found here: and feel free to contact us at if you’d like an informal confidential discussion about the services we offer – it’s free!


Breaking News! – Intersol Formalise their Strategic Partnership with iKAT Consulting


The Board of Intersol are delighted to announce that they have agreed a formal strategic alliance with iKAT Consulting, world leaders in Knowledge, Advice and Training in the areas of Interviewing, Investigations and Intelligence to public and private sectors clients worldwide. Intersol have worked collegiately and successfully with iKAT and their directors, Andy and Jacqui Griffiths, on many occasions so this is simply a small step in formalising the relationship between the 2 entities.

Many readers will already know that Dr Andy Griffiths co-authored the definitive work on Investigative Interviewing with our Chairman, Professor Eric Shepherd, retiring from the police in 2014  having been the head of Sussex Major Crime Investigation Unit and Intelligence, and a national operational champion of investigative interviewing.

Andy enjoys an international reputation and is a sought after authority on the topic of ethical interviewing globally, and we look forward to a long and positive collaborative relationship that will add significant excellence and quality to the delivery of Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®)

If you are seeking support to manage challenging conversations and workplace meetings, to protect your brand and reputation, add value, reduce cost and manage risk, speak to us at Intersol. We are world leaders in what we do, subject matter experts who are innovative, current, relevant, and still practice to maintain competence. We work with you contextually and proportionately to deliver what you need, not what we think you need!

For a free, confidential, and discreet initial consultation please contact us at

Link to iKAT here:


Professor Amina Memon, from Royal Holloway, University of London, wins prestigious Outstanding Impact in Society in the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2017.

We are delighted that Professor Memon has won this award. As one of a distinguished few who have worked tirelessly for over a quarter of a century to develop and improve cognitive interviewing of some of the most vulnerable she is owed a debt of gratitude for the quality and value she has helped contribute to UK criminal justice. Without the research of her and other like-minded psychologists the world of investigative interviewing would be a poorer place and justice for many would have been miscarried.

“Based on what we know about how memory works, it’s possible to conduct interviews that focus on the strengths of a witness and help them to open up and give a detailed, accurate account, while minimising the risks of gathering unreliable information that can lead to miscarriages of justice,” she explains.

At Intersol we are proud and honoured to continue the work we did with Amina in Law Enforcement and extend its benefit and application to the private and commercial world. It is the science behind the mind that is common to all fact-finding interviews and workplace meetings.

If your business involves managing challenging conversations and workplace meetings, as world leaders we can work with you to protect your brand and reputation, adding value, reducing cost and managing risk by supporting and enabling detailed and accurate fact-finding interviews as the DNA of Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®)

The link to Professor Memons award detail can be found here:

The Self Administered Interview (SAI) Investigation Tool – How Could It Have Assisted the Grenfell Tower Fire Investigation?


The tragedy of recent events is all too painful, but so much more could have been done to assuage grief and help people ‘have purpose’ aside from adding real value and quality to the investigation(s). It’s too late again for the victims of Westminster, Manchester Arena, Borough Market, and Grenfell Tower (how quick does todays news become ‘chip-paper’), but it’s not too late for the inevitable victims and witnesses of the next dreadful attack on civility.

Intersols senior partners were privileged to develop, field-test, pilot, and roll-out an investigative interview tool that represented one of the most impactive practical tools to enhance and preserve the fragile memories of witnesses to incidents. Researched and designed by the worlds leading experts on memory and cognition we were able to add practical application and prove its value at the highest level of judicial examination in the UK courts.

The added value not initially appreciated by the developers was the strategic and tactical identification and prioritisation of key witnesses, and, interestingly, evaluation feedback that revealed a significant hidden cathartic benefit for the witness. The ‘witnesses’ frequently reported a feeling of relief and usefulness – that they had in some way contributed at a time of immense stress.

This in addition to cementing the witness testimony, supporting them when under scrutiny at court, preventing confabulation by social media and 24 hour news demands; saving time, reducing cost and adding value not just to the investigation but to brand and reputation.

Once the core component of the response kit to a major incident it’s value would have been incalculable to the series of tragic incidents that have stretched police resources to (and beyond in truth) breaking point.

If you’re reading this post and have any influence with decision makers, maybe bring it to their attention? Repeated overtures to Government and Law Enforcement have yet to yield any response.

A link to it can be found here: and we’d be delighted to answer any queries and support its deployment operationally.


Corporate Manslaughter, Shutting the Door After the Horse has Bolted – Why does it take a loss of life to trigger action?

From, and acknowledgements to, Ionas Glinavos and The Conversation:

The disaster at Grenfell Tower has been described by David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, as a case of “corporate manslaughter”.

According to English law, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures, resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.

Amid calls for arrests, it’s time to consider whether the failings that led to the Grenfell disaster could possibly justify the use of the label “corporate manslaughter” – and what this would mean for victims who seek justice.

Prosecutions for this offence are of a corporate body (defined broadly enough to include public authorities) and not individuals – so we probably won’t see any pictures of executives being led away in handcuffs. That said, directors, board members and others may still be liable to prosecution under health and safety law or general criminal law. The offence also covers contractors and sub-contractors, so long as they owe a duty of care to the victims.

A duty of care is an obligation, whereby an organisation must take reasonable steps to protect a person’s safety. Legally, it is broadly understood as avoiding negligence by not placing people in danger. These duties also exist in relation to workplaces and equipment, as well as to products or services supplied to customers. This suggests that when an entity exercises control over people and spaces it has a responsibility to protect them.

The corporate manslaughter offence uses the same definitions of duty of care as the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter. This means that the threshold for the offence is high – the way that activities were managed or organised must have fallen seriously far below reasonable standards.

The consequences

Any organisation convicted of this offence would face a fine of anywhere between £180,000 and £20m (though there is no hard maximum limit). They would also be handed a publicity order, which requires them to publicise the conviction, along with certain details of the offence, as specified by the court. The court can also set a remedial order, requiring the organisation to address the cause of the fatal injury, which in this case could have consequences for similar tower blocks.

While there is no direct precedent for this kind of tragedy – involving massive loss of life for non-workers – to help us estimate penalties, some indications can be gleaned from the fines imposed on rail operators for train accidents. In 2003, Thames Trains and Network Rail were fined over £2m and £4m respectively, in relation to the health and safety breaches that led to the 1999 Ladbroke Grove train crash, which killed 31 people. And in 2006, Network Rail was fined £3.5m and Balfour Beatty an eventual £7.5m (following an appeal) for faults leading to the fatal derailment of a train near Hatfield in 2000.

Full article can be read here:

350 people killed a year in UK workplace accidents.

IG Comment

At IG we have been described as the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’, trying to undertake remedial work after disaster has struck, where in reality we are doing all we can to position ourselves not just at the cliff edge, nor as an ambulance, but sufficiently far back from the edge to stop you falling off it in the first place!

As the advisors on one of the first prosecutions for Corporate Manslaughter (and several others since), we now seek to reverse engineer the failings they exposed to support organisations to save lives, manage risk better, preserve reputation and brand, and reduce costs by encouraging ‘Extraordinary Case Management’ (ECM®). We encourage and practice Case Management that is ‘Extraordinary’ and positions the fact finding meetings as the DNA throughout the entire ECM process.

If you want to understand and know more how we can help you and your organisation be extraordinary please contact us at

Proud to Support Manchester!

Manchester is renowned for its industry and heritage and Intersols partners are proud of their Manchester roots and not inconsiderable support of public service in the region.

With our increasing global coverage recent news is a timely and sober reminder of those roots and the fact that several of IG associates continue to proudly serve the public of the region.

We place on record the companies support and thoughts for all those impacted by the dreadful events of recent weeks and proudly pledge support to those dedicated public servants who give their all to serve and protect the community.

Thank you!


Forensic Interview Storyboarding SE3Rs

Do you conduct complex or high stakes investigations, interview multiple witnesses, need to assimilate complex detail? Is it important to you to identify gaps in evidence or maybe highlight inconsistencies, potential deceit or collusion?

 If the answer is ‘YES’ then this investigative tool is perfect for you and your team and will add real value for clients.

Eric Shepherd, the Chairman of Intersol Global, devised forensic Storyboarding, SE3R. It is a technique that gives the investigative practitioner a sound grasp of, and immediately stores in memory without any conscious effort, the fine-grain detail contained within documents, such as statements, and in verbal exchanges, typically interviews, conducted face-to-face or on the telephone, or recorded electronically. For an overview of SE3R download this PDF.

Because SE3R enables the rapid, comprehensive capture and analysis of fine-grain detail it reveals what really was disclosed, what was disclosed in a vague or odd manner, or not disclosed at all! Using SE3R the practitioner can make a timely response to identified issues and anomalies, e.g. through immediate probing; engaging in additional lines of enquiry; planning and preparing for a subsequent interview.

The use of SE3R has grown steadily within the UK and international police forces and recent adopters include the public and private sector and legal community.

Within the public sector practitioners in central and local government working within assessment and investigative contexts are increasingly using SE3R. In the financial services sector SE3R is used by staff that process and investigate claims.

  • Call-centre based claims advisers and handlers.
  • Members of specialist fraud and investigation units.
  • Claims assessors and investigators operating “in the field”.

These types of practitioner create ‘real time’ SE3Rs of interviews with claimants and SE3Rs of claims documentation/statements across the insurance product range.

  • Motor theft.
  • Motor accidents.
  • Personal injury.
  • Employer liability.
  • Income protection (permanent health insurance).
  • House and contents.
  • Commercial.

In the context of financial services for travellers SE3R is used in many languages throughout the world.

SE3R is also used in the banking sector, e.g. to assist in screening for and investigating fraud across the product and service range, and in internal investigations. SE3R is increasingly being used in many countries by staff in multinationals fulfilling a number of key roles.

  • Investigators.
  • Security specialists.
  • Compliance and anti-corruption personnel.
  • Control function staff (e.g. conducting audits).

The practice of any professional or institution working with the detail of narrative detail and make critical decisions based upon fine-grain analysis benefits from using SE3R.

  • Lawyers, legal staff and others – including expert witnesses – working in criminal, civil, and tribunal systems.
  • Those engaged with vetting applications and staff.
  • Project managers and researchers.
  • Health care professionals – counsellors and psychotherapists – and academics.

Through our training and continuous commitment to development of SE3R Intersol Global and Forensic Solutions have established SE3R as an industry standard technique understood throughout the world, and applied by investigators to documents, to audio- and video-recorded interviews, and in ‘real time’ in face-to-face interviews of witnesses and suspects, to claimants and applicants in financial contexts, and in many other forms of context.

Investigators in both private and public sector contexts are now able to benefit from the development of tools that are linked to SE3R.


Psychological Perspectives on Interrogation.

“Simulated drowning (waterboarding) leading to vomiting, convulsions, and unconsciousness; debilitating stress positions and prolonged standing for 72 hours; physical abuse, mock executions, and threats to one’s family; sleep deprivation, physical isolation, constant noise, and uncomfortably cold temperatures for 180 hours. In 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program brought to light details of such detainee abuse.”

“Proponents of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ in the United States have claimed that such methods are necessary for obtaining information from uncooperative terrorism subjects. In the present article, we offer an informed, academic perspective on such claims. Psychological theory and research shows that harsh interrogation methods are ineffective. First, they are likely to increase resistance by the subject rather than facilitate cooperation. Second, the threatening and adversarial nature of harsh interrogation is often inimical to the goal of facilitating the retrieval of information from memory, and therefore reduces the likelihood that a subject will provide reports that are extensive, detailed, and accurate. Third, harsh interrogation methods make lie detection difficult. Analyzing speech content and eliciting verifiable details are the most reliable cues to assessing credibility; however, to elicit such cues subjects must be encouraged to provide extensive narratives, something that does not occur in harsh interrogations. Evidence is accumulating for the effectiveness of rapport-based, information-gathering approaches as an alternative to harsh interrogations. Such approaches promote cooperation, enhance recall of relevant and reliable information, and facilitate assessments of credibility. Given the available evidence that torture is ineffective, why might some laypersons, policy makers, and interrogation personnel support the use of torture? We conclude our review by offering a psychological perspective on this important question.”

Unreserved acknowledgements and thanks to Aldert Vrij, Christian A. Meissner, Ronald P. Fisher, Saul M. Kassin, Andy Morgan III, and Steven M. Kleinman for this paper which is published in full here:

Psychological Perspectives on Interrogation

Intersol unreservedly support ‘fact-finding’ investigative interviewing; torture having no place if the decision maker wishes to rely on detailed, accurate, and reliable information and/or intelligence. Our team underwent transformational change from a world of torture and interrogation in the UK and are world leaders in developing and applying Conversation Management, proudly sponsoring the IIIRG and its annual conference in Monteray in July. We’d be delighted to explain more and illustrate just why we add real value to your organisation. Our gratitude to all that continue such vital research.

Feel free to contact for a discreet and informal consultation.

Five teachers accused in Trojan horse affair free to return to classroom

Decision-makers rely on detailed, accurate, fact-finding meetings. They change lives! It’s what we are the best in the world at. Precisely why we’ve focussed on Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®) as The Mark of Quality for competent investigation. Contact us if your business decision-makers want to be accurately and fully informed to reduce risk and enhance reputation.

Panel cites repeated failure on part of government lawyers to share crucial evidence in case of alleged Islamist takeover of schools in Birmingham. Five senior school leaders accused of involvement in the Trojan horse controversy in Birmingham are free to return to the classroom, after the government’s case against them was found to involve an “abuse of justice” by government lawyers. The teachers were accused of allowing undue Islamist influence in the running of three Birmingham state schools. On Tuesday an independent disciplinary panel discontinued the proceedings against them, citing a repeated failure on the part of government lawyers to share crucial evidence. The panel hearing the case at the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) in Coventry concluded that there had been an abuse of justice of such seriousness that it had no option but to end the hearings:

“It is fundamental to the proper administration of justice that the panel must be able to rely on the regulatory authority acting in a way which ensures the integrity of the process,” the panel concluded, in a decision that heavily criticised the Department for Education’s legal advisers.

Full article courtesy of The Guardian here: Never so relevant?