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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70696
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I inadvertently breached PACE CODE D by letting a victim look

Customer Question

I inadvertently breached PACE CODE D by letting a victim look at stills when discussing the layout of the incident location. Suspects were in the nightclub everywhere. Victim worked in nightclub and had previously viewed the cctv and provided identity documents and photographs of some of those concerned. After reviewing the case file for the afraid/assault case, I have remembered what I did wrong at the time. Didn't realise my error at time. How should I deal with this issue? Discuss with management what's happened, discuss with cps or wait until I present my evidence and bring it up at that point. It was a complete oversight and gross mistake. The whole incident has now made me severely depressed and signed of work as a police officer. The court cas is in 7 weeks. Or am I in a no hope siuation whatever I do? I'm very frightened and confused.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not record the event as I didn't realise what I was doing was wrong and was just in general discussion with the victim on the layout. CCTV , stills and storybook of incident have all been served.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Put your hands up early. If you have made a mistake then you won't be the first. It will have to be disclosed to the defnece and it will probably have the effect of severely weakening the ID evidence but you can't turn back the clock. Disclosing immediately is a lot better than trying to cover it up and having it come out when the complainant gives evidence. You certainly won't be the first officer to act outside of pace. Can I clarify anything for you?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On the stills I had marked most of the people with their names in ink but not all. The victim named one of his colleagues whom I did not know and marked with his first name. I submitted all these stills as part of the initial disclosure. Again I infer that I include this with the full details of what happened. Should I refer myself to DPS as well? Most of my problems over the last year with forgetfulness and not being able to make the right decisions have resulted in me seeking GP assistance and OH help next week. I have also raised it with my HIV consultant as the Meds I'm on are strong with well documented side affects. Hence the changed them 10 days ago. I'm currently on an informal warning regarding performance and problems focusing on making good timely decisions. I broke down in the GP surgery yesterday. So I'm pretty low and I'm not sure how to plan and focus my actions over the coming days. Who do I notify first? CPS, then DPS and then management, in that order?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will gather my thoughts for 48 hrs then attend the office.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, well, mistakes happen. Police officers can't be perfect.
If you disclose early then it is just an honest mistake. If you try to cover it up then it looks like bad faith.
I would notify everybody in any order. Probably CPS will ignore it being what they are. It might well even go to trial.
If you are on a warning then this won't do anything to help but it is a lot better than trying to cover it up.