One of the key aspects to ensure good quality investigation in case of fraudulent or unethical practices is to be able to interview witnesses effectively and appropriately and gather maximum evidence in the purest form.
Of the entire process, gathering appropriate and important evidence is extremely crucial, and for this, effectively interviewing vulnerable and intimidated witnesses is the most important aspect and the biggest challenge.
Vulnerable and intimidated witnesses include children, elderly and frail individuals, individuals with physical and mental disabilities, individuals under pressure or threat, etc. Thus, investigative interviews for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses cannot be conducted in the conventional form, else the entire evidence gathering process suffers a setback.
This raises the need for trained professionals and special measures for such interviews. A courtroom setting can be a fearful and overwhelming experience for many, especially first-time witnesses. Many witnesses suffer extreme fear and stress during the investigation, caused by the questions, the surrounding, the people around and many other major factors.
When witnesses are vulnerable or feel intimidated, special measures are undertaken to conduct the investigation to not hamper the accuracy and legitimacy of the information provided by the witnesses. These special measures are also undertaken to improve the experience of testimony for the witnesses so that they can give their best evidence.
Such measures include different modes of interviewing, indirect and direct, different locations, presence of support systems and individuals, etc. Professionals conducting such interviews should be well trained and should have the necessary focus to alter questions, flow, etc. as per the behavioural responses of the witness.
‘Special privileges are not granted to all witnesses on request. There are stringent criteria to qualify for special measures for the investigative interview. However, in most cases, if the criteria are fulfilled, both prosecution and defence witnesses can avail these special privileges, except the accused.
This Zoe training course will empower you with a thorough understanding and knowledge of handling vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. It will provide you with the necessary experience to successfully identify witnesses requiring special measures of the interview.
Further, through this course, you will gain the necessary skill, experience and exposure to interview vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and alter your interview flow and questions as per the need, thus ensuring that the best evidence is gathered in the process.
The course will also provide you with the required knowledge and skill to undertake investigative interviews of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses under special circumstances and will help you with some tips and best practices to make the witness comfortable so that he/she can provide all possible information critical for passing an appropriate judgement in the trial.
This Interviewing Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses training course will enhance your skills and capabilities and will help you to undertake more specialised roles as an interviewer or as part of the interview process for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses.
The main objective of this Interviewing Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses course is to empower legal professionals with—
- a thorough understanding and enriched experience of interviewing vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- the required experience and skill to identify vulnerable and intimidated witnesses and adopt accurate measures early enough in the process to gather evidence and information effectively
- the required focus to alter one’s interview process and style as per the behavioural response of the witness during the investigative process
- adequate confidence and enhanced skill and capabilities to use special measures for investigative interviewing of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- the needed experience to gain credibility and reliability as an interviewer and to win the trust of the witness so that he/she is comfortable in sharing information, with no hesitation
- consciousness and presence of mind to not impose one’s opinion or thought on the vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, allowing them to share their experience and the information they possess
- enhanced skill and capabilities to undertake specialised roles of interviewing special people through special measures, thus demonstrating credibility and potential
Zoe Talent Solutions has a unique approach to each training session that it prepares to undertake. The training courses are extensively customisable to ensure relatability and relevance to the professional background and experience of the training audience.
Besides presentations and lectures delivered by the trainer, group discussion and debates among trainees ensure trainee activity and participation in the programme. Role-plays and case studies help break the monotony of theoretical training delivery. Experiential learning is encouraged through relevant experiences related by trainees and discussed in detail by the trainer.
Overall, this course follows Zoe Talent Solutions’ very successful Do–Review–Learn–Apply Model.
Organisations whose professionals undertake this Interviewing Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses course will benefit in the following ways:
- Skilled professionals to conduct sensitive and important investigative interviews of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- Successful and effective evidence gathering from vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- Skilled professionals to conduct investigative interviews through special means
- Early identification of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses through behavioural traits so that special measures are made available for the investigative process and the evidence or information gathering process does not suffer
- More successful and accurate closures to criminal and unethical instances because of effective evidence gathering
- Reduced influence of threats and corruption during the investigation process
- Deserved justice to victims of unethical or criminal acts
- Improved brand credibility and reliability because of more successful closures of cases
Professionals undertaking this Interviewing Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses course will benefit in the following ways:
- More thorough understanding and knowledge about interviewing vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- Increased skill, confidence and exposure to identify vulnerable and intimidated witnesses through behavioural traits and other means
- Increased skill to use special measures to interview vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- Higher focus and confidence as well as experience to build credibility and trust with the witness to help derive maximum information related to the case in question
- Enhanced skill and capability to alter one’s interview flow and style as per the response of the witness before or during the investigative process
- Enriched skillset to undertake specialised roles for interviewing special witnesses through special measures, thus paving the way for one’s career growth and development
- A sense of pride and contentment to contribute to justice to victims and rightful prosecution of the accused
Who Should Attend
- Senior members of legal organisations who would need to ensure that they and their employees are aware of how to deal with vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
- Legal advisors responsible for providing advice to organisations regarding their legal processes and procedures
- Public and private investigators and law enforcement agencies responsible for identifying appropriate witnesses and gathering accurate and adequate evidence
- Police officials who also partake in the initial parts of the investigative process
- Human resource professionals and other special committee members of organisations who take part and conduct investigative discussions and interviews for cases reported within organisations
- Forensic experts who conduct extensive examination of physical evidence and who need to relate this to the information or evidence provided by witnesses
- Any other professional who would like to know more about investigative interviews for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
The Interviewing Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses course will cover the following areas important to understand how to successfully interview vulnerable and intimidated witnesses:
Module 1 – Features of an Investigative Interview
- Fact seeking
Module 2 – Important Aspects of an Interview
- Warnings and representation
- Rapport building
- Investigative questions
- Behavioural analysis and conclusion
Module 3 – Skills of a Successful Interviewer
- Communication and interviewing skills
- Control over emotions
- Honesty and ethical conduct
- Knowledge of the law
- Critical thinking/problem solving
- Research and writing skills
Module 4 – Types of Vulnerable and/or Intimidated Witnesses
- Individuals with intellectual, mental or physical disabilities
- Alleged victims of sexual offence
- Individuals fearful of harassment/retribution
- Elderly or frail persons
- Individuals subjected to violence
Module 5 – Special Measures for Investigative Interviews
- Live links
- Evidence in private
- Removal of wigs and gowns by barristers and judges
- Video-recorded interview
- Examination through an intermediary
- Aids to communication
Module 6 – Examples of Witness Intimidation
- Witness asked to testify in a certain way
- Witness offered a bribe
- Witness threatened with physical violence or property damage
- Witness threatened with harm to family members and loved ones
- Witness prevented from attending legal proceedings
- Witness asked to lie
- Witness asked to destroy evidence
Module 7 – Phases of Interviewing Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses
- Preparation for the interview (witness background check, deciding pace and flow of interview, etc.)
- Establish good rapport
- Obtain free narrative
- Present right questions in the right order
- Offer meaningful closure to the interview
Module 8 – Stages of Support for Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses
- Interview support
- Pre-trial support
- Court witness support
- Post-trial support
- All our courses can be facilitated as Customized In-House Training course.
- Course duration is flexible and the contents can be modified to fit any number of days.
- As for Open Enrolment Courses, we offer our clients the flexibility to chose the location, date, and time and our team of experts who are spread around the globe will assist in facilitating the course.
- The course fee includes facilitation, training materials, 2 coffee breaks, buffet lunch and a Certificate of successful completion of Training.
- FREE Consultation and Coaching provided during and after the course.