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rachblanchard

File builders

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rachblanchard

I am aware some forces have dedicated file builders that do all the form filling, disclosure, etc.  I'm trying to make contact with any forces that currently have dedicated file builders.  We have a Criminal Justice team that send all the papers to CPS/Courts but it is down to the OIC to complete the full file.  I've made a suggestion we look at having a dedicate team to build file and now need to speak to forces that have them!  Please contact me if you think you can help.  Thanks

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Zulu 22
1 hour ago, rachblanchard said:

I am aware some forces have dedicated file builders that do all the form filling, disclosure, etc.  I'm trying to make contact with any forces that currently have dedicated file builders.  We have a Criminal Justice team that send all the papers to CPS/Courts but it is down to the OIC to complete the full file.  I've made a suggestion we look at having a dedicate team to build file and now need to speak to forces that have them!  Please contact me if you think you can help.  Thanks

That is a good explanation as to why many officers are incapable of taking statements to prove offences and putting together prosecution files, or even Coroner's files. Some find it difficult to put together any reports because they are lacking the experience. It may not be their fault as in many cases it is the system which is dictating this lack of ability. 

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Jeebs
1 hour ago, Zulu 22 said:

That is a good explanation as to why many officers are incapable of taking statements to prove offences and putting together prosecution files, or even Coroner's files. Some find it difficult to put together any reports because they are lacking the experience. It may not be their fault as in many cases it is the system which is dictating this lack of ability. 

I fail to see the correlation between having a file prep team and officers not know the points to prove for an offence. The two don’t really cross over. 

An MG11 and an MG3/5 are very different in their content, so I I’m not quite sure what you are getting at.

@rachblanchard although I have now left, the PSNI did have a sort of file prep.

Some stations had a full on file prep unit that would further any investigations past the initial officers attendance. I.e. officers attend a criminal damage, no suspect identified at that time, they resume and the incident would be passed to file prep for CCTV enqs and further investigation. 

Other stations had Volume Crime Support Teams, who would expect all available evidence to be collected and presented to them with a handover sheet (CCTV, statements etc), they would then interview and charge or bail depending on the outcome of the interview. They would usually keep the file and task the original attending officer to conduct further enquires as they saw fit. 

Both worked quite well.

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Indiana Jones

We have a QA Team on each division. They don't do the work for you, but they do review it and give advice on best practice, changes to CPS procedures and such like. One's own Sgt is the first gatekeeper before that point though.

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skydiver

Hi Rach. If you can get registered on the College of Policing website you can ask questions on the POLKA forum.  You'll probably get a better response there than on here given the specialist nature of your enquiry.

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Sierra Lima
On 02/07/2019 at 16:38, Zulu 22 said:

That is a good explanation as to why many officers are incapable of taking statements to prove offences and putting together prosecution files, or even Coroner's files. Some find it difficult to put together any reports because they are lacking the experience. It may not be their fault as in many cases it is the system which is dictating this lack of ability. 

The reality for response officers is that we don't have the time to sit down and concentrate on files and we don't know how to do it because we don't do enough. Sergeants are even worse and don't do effective QA. Guilty anticipated pleas are obviously easy enough but not guilty anticipated/upgrades and crown end up going back and forth between the officer, the file management team and the cps for weeks. Better have competent file builders who will get it right first time. 

Having spoken to cps about it, that what they would like. 

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Zulu 22
Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Sierra Lima said:

The reality for response officers is that we don't have the time to sit down and concentrate on files and we don't know how to do it because we don't do enough. Sergeants are even worse and don't do effective QA. Guilty anticipated pleas are obviously easy enough but not guilty anticipated/upgrades and crown end up going back and forth between the officer, the file management team and the cps for weeks. Better have competent file builders who will get it right first time. 

Having spoken to cps about it, that what they would like. 

That in itself is a condemnation of the system supporting the fact that officers are not capable of producing a case file. It is not a condemnation of the officer but, of the whole system and the Supervision. It would beg the question of what on earth Management and Supervision are doing. 

Is it any surprise as to why the public are losing confidence in Policing in general.

Edited by Zulu 22

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Jeimu3u
Posted (edited)

I work for Northumbria Police, and am currently assigned to a team called “RST” which is the Response Support Team. Response get the lock up, take the statement and any initial enquiries and then pass the package over to us. We then interview the DP and take it from there. Right now we are manually building the files for cps however we are bringing in a digital file builder in the coming months hopefully.

Edited by Jeimu3u

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SD
On 02/07/2019 at 17:53, Jeebs said:

I fail to see the correlation between having a file prep team and officers not know the points to prove for an offence. The two don’t really cross over. 

An MG11 and an MG3/5 are very different in their content, so I I’m not quite sure what you are getting at.

@rachblanchard

Got to disagree. We had ‘file units’ and it was great, but very quickly the quality of investigations including MG11s deteriorated. The reasons being they became deskilled and they didn’t care what happened once it was handed over so standards dropped. Getting to the next job was more important than doing a proper job first. The only ones who didn’t deskill were the ones who had long enough in to have worked frontline at a time you did your own files.

As handy as they are ‘file units’ DO drop general police investigation standards. 

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Radman

I've always built and prepared my own case files for court, sadly we no longer produce our own coroners files at my post as that role has now been given to dedicated officer but it is something I miss doing (as strange as that sounds. )

The casework was very interesting and even rewarding as you were doing your best for a family seeking some form of closure for them, at one point I ended up dealing with the vast majority of fatality files at my post over the course of three years. It was massive amounts of work, especially alongside my criminal investigations. 

I do think cops need to build and present their own case files to court, it's the only way you'll really learn just how the justice system.  One of the biggest issues I see at the moment with new recruits is the failure to pick up on blatant ID issues with cases, statements which offer poor or confusing evidence or interviews which do very little probing... I'm not some supercop on interview (I disliked interviewing when I first joined) but when I've heard tapes where probationers have asked at best the bare minimum something is wrong... Times change though, when I first started a simple report file would take 40minutes to complete, now with NICHE you're talking best part of a shift at best. 

 

 

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BlueBob

Having flicked through from the original question to the end, it seems it comes down to a fundamental philosophy or working regime -remove officers from the street to conduct what can be equally skilled case file building or create a bit of a gap to encourage and allow both regimes to work as best they can with limited resources.  The provision being that if the response / street officer is to hand a file over, that it is the the highest standards, rather than a lacklustre chuck it over and let someone else sort out the basics.  
I'm not sure that all officers knowing the finest details and finesse of case file building and management is the best use of the resources.

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SD
9 hours ago, BlueBob said:


I'm not sure that all officers knowing the finest details and finesse of case file building and management is the best use of the resources.

In an ideal world I would agree, but it’s not. The reality is frontline cops would cut corners and become deskilled at basic investigations.GMP tried it and are still feeling the effects years later. Besides, in the same time it took for me to get handover files up to scratch I could’ve interviewed and NFAd so false economy. 

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BlueBob
42 minutes ago, SD said:

In an ideal world I would agree, but it’s not. The reality is frontline cops would cut corners and become deskilled at basic investigations.GMP tried it and are still feeling the effects years later. Besides, in the same time it took for me to get handover files up to scratch I could’ve interviewed and NFAd so false economy. 

That sounds more like a failing procedure than the idea being a false economy.  The system, any system should be rigid and yet flexible enough to manage your scenario of being quicker to do an NFA file than submit a handover.  However, your false economy response fails on those occasions when handover is appropriate and viable.  

I’d suggest the system was poorly conceived and executed rather than it being a bad idea.  

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