What is an investigation and the role of the investigator?
What is an investigation?
There are several definitions of a criminal investigation, but the one for England and Wales is set out in the Code of Practice to the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA). This defines a criminal investigation as:
An investigation conducted by police officers with a view to it being ascertained whether a person should be charged with an offence, or whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it.
Investigations can be either reactive or proactive and may be carried out in relation to:
- Crimes that have been committed
- Identifying whether a crime has actually been committed, with a view to commencing criminal proceedings
- Crimes that the police believe may be committed, for example, when premises or individuals are kept under observation for a period of time, with a view to the possible institution of criminal proceedings.
What responsibilities does the investigator have?
An investigator is responsible for:
- Identifying lines of enquiry
- Securing material
- Recording information
- Producing a report
- Giving evidence
- Retaining records
- FIM considerations
Betts, M.,J. (2017) Investigation of Fraud and Economic Crime Oxford: Oxford University Press
London: Legislation.gov.uk Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act (1996) [online]. available from https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/25/part/II [11 July 2019]
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