In any walk of life, the thought of finding yourself in a situation where you have been accused of/found guilty of a crime that you did not commit, is one that would send a shiver down the spine of you and your family.
The possibility of this situation has recently been highlighted in the media by the R v Liam Allan case; in which Mr Allan was accused of rape. While the case against Mr Allan has now been dropped by the CPS, it had lasted for two years and should never have been brought before the court. The case was dropped due to evidence being made available, that had previously not been taken into consideration. Prosecuting barrister, Jerry Hayes emphasised the “tremendous pressure” police and justice services are under, in a system that is “not just creaking, but about to croak”.
This case underlines how budgeting has forced cut backs of backroom and administration staff, required to analyse significant amounts of evidence. Understaffed and under pressure, this has led to crucial evidence being missed or unused altogether.
Cases such as the R v Liam Allan, are where professional investigative services come to the fore. Investigation teams are used extensively in appeals cases and private criminal law. This involves teams of former senior detectives and chief police officers, who perform in-depth analysis of ALL evidence, ensuring that no stone is left unturned and any ground for appeal is identified.
Cuts to the police and justice services over the last few years have been well documented. A telling consequence of these cuts has been the decline in the number of backroom staff. The government’s stated aim is to not cut front line policing and inevitably there has been a negative effect on administration capabilities.
Given the above cuts, the possibility of a miscarriage of justice has increased significantly. Again, this is often due to missed or misinterpreted evidence. This is where a professional investigative team will make the difference.
The team of former senior detectives, with decades of knowledge between them, are able to perform a comprehensive review of all case material. This will enable them to identify any unused evidence that would change the case, and/or any lines of enquiry that were not followed.
The essential benefit of a professional investigation team is that it allows for a full in-depth analysis of all case material, no matter how significant it may first appear to be. It is possible that during the case, due to the administrative burden, the police or defending solicitor may have missed key pieces of evidence. An investigations team will be able to identify this evidence, and also advise on the new lines of enquiry that may need following. The review of evidence can include:
• Revisiting of crime scenes.
• Analysis of witness interviews, and the conduct of new witness interviews if necessary.
• Identify potential witnesses that were not initially interviewed.
• Thorough checks of witness statements and backgrounds, mobile phone records, photographs etc.
Professional investigative services are also regularly involved in civil law, and can be successfully utilised in the following scenarios:
Their vast experience can also cover insurance investigation and tracing individuals’ property. Where insurance claims are suspicious or in doubt, specialist investigation services can use their expertise in evidence analysis to establish whether insurance claims are fraudulent or legitimate. They can also conduct building and people surveillance in order to decipher whether there is consistency with an insurance claim and the activities or appearance of an individual or workplace.
Likewise, the investigation services and detectives can apply their experience and skills to asset and property tracing. Where private prosecutions involve property, property management, or assets pertaining to property, a senior detective can employ surveillance alongside a thorough “paper trail” investigation to interpret where ownership does, or should, lie. Producing a detailed report, the work of the investigation services can be used directly by the solicitor in order to form or strengthen their case.
Working alongside Foresight’s investigative team has a number of benefits for the legal team of the client:
• No need to analyse what can be 1000’s of pages of records, as we do all of this for you.
• We identify any lines of enquiry that would be of use to your case.
• Time served law enforcement professionals, who understand and utilise advanced investigative techniques.
• We give time back to you by taking the heavy-duty analysis off your hands.
• All team members can be called as an expert witness.
At Foresight, our extensive network of former senior detectives and chief police officers are experts in providing investigation services. With over 20 years of experience, their abilities in uncovering valuable evidence and finding new leads is of great benefit to a criminal defence case. Where immense pressures are driving school-boy errors and incompetence, a comprehensive investigation from a professional service provider is the best way to not only strengthen your case, but to ensure that the trial is just. If you require investigation services for your defence case, get in touch.