INTERVIEWING & STATEMENT TAKING
Interviewing is a specialist skill which requires an investigator who is a good listener, excellent communicator and has a high attention to detail. Herdens have such investigators as part of our team and they are available nationwide to either conduct or sit in on interviews.
Whatever the reason for the interview, from an employee who is suspected of misconduct to a witness who has crucial evidence in a particular case, Herdens can assist with collecting the information required and presenting it in the most suitable format.
Statements are commonly used as a witness' evidence in chief should a matter proceed to court and a poorly taken statement could leave unanswered questions which could open up unwarranted and potentially aggressive cross examination from the other side.
Using both male and female interviewers, Herdens take comprehensive and detailed statements, covering all points required. We aim to ensure that there are no opportunities for queries to be raised by other parties in court and ideally the statement should be part of a well-made case which avoids the need to proceed to trial or even legal action at all.
Statements can be taken either face to face, over the phone or via other technology such Skype meaning that witnesses can be interviewed at a time and place which is convenient and comfortable for them.
Question & Answers
Where can statements be taken?
We are able to take statements over the phone in cases where cost is a consideration and this can be at a time convenient to the witness. In cases where a face to face interview is required then we can meet at any mutually convenient time and location so long as it is practical for us to talk to the witness without too many unnecessary distractions and to allow us to take the statement and any notes accurately. We have interviewed people in their own homes, cars, cafes, restaurants and work places which vary from office settings to building sites.
How long does it take to take a statement?
This can depend on the complexity of the statement and the amount of information already provided. In most cases a simple interview can be completed in around 30 minutes to an hour, but more complex interviews can take many hours to ensure that all the important points are covered. Aside from the interview the interviewer will take time to read all of the relevant papers beforehand so that they are familiar with the case and can ask relevant and necessary questions during the interview. Further time will then be spent typing the statement up after the interview.
What information do you need?
As with the majority of the investigations we conduct it is important to provide us with as much information as possible at the outset. This is particularly important in the case of interviewing where we need to be sure of the detail and information that is required to be contained in the finished statement.
What languages can you take statements in?
We have translators available that mean we can interview witnesses in virtually any commonly recognised language whether this is done face to face or over the phone.
Will the finished statement be acceptable in court?
Most statements we take are done so with the intention of potentially using them in court and we therefore always ensure that the statement prepared is acceptable according to the current court standards, whether that be civil or criminal.
What kinds of statements have/can you take?
We can take statements about any case or situation. In complex or unusual cases we may require some extra time to prepare our interviewer to ensure that they are fully aware of how the case is expected to proceed and any relevant arguments. Statements taken can be prepared for use in either the civil or criminal courts depending on the case.
What does it cost?
We usually conduct statement taking on an agreed fixed fee basis although in unusually complex cases it may be necessary to charge on a hourly basis due to uncertainties of how long the interview will take and to ensure everything is included in the resulting statement.