What is statement taking
At OJT Investigations Group we take statements from witnesses in relation to an array of different issues. We taken statements in relation to family court matters, from witnesses to criminal defence matters and statements from persons that are assisting in the investigation of a work place investigation.
A witness statement is a document recording evidence of a person, which is signed by that person to confirm the contents of the statement is true. At OJT Investigations Group our investigations staff have not only been taking statements from witnesses and victims for over a decade but are also sworn Justices of the Peace and can witness documents which will be present to a court, adding to the credibility of our witnesses and the seriousness to which we take this job.
The statement can record what the witness saw, heard or felt. You can then keep a copy of the statement and it can be used by many regulatory bodies including the courts.
The statements that we take at OJT Investigations Group are voluntary, which means you are seeking out our services to create evidence of a particular situation or point in time.
They can take the form of written, sound recorded or video recorded interviews. We travel right across Australia to facilitate this service. Our legal clients intrust our professionalism so much that we have been asked to travel to the USA and India to assist with the compilation of critical evidence statements to be used in Federal Courts.
Quite often, when it becomes a police matter, the police will take a statement, but it can also assist greatly if the likes of a Brisbane private investigator takes an additional statement to be presented with the client’s allegation. This statement can assist the police in their objective of proving elements of the offence to which has been alleged.
OJT Investigations Group statements are written as a “first person” conversation, they follow a professional format which is easy to follow and easy to read.
It is vital for the validity of the statement that all relevant points are covered once the statement is submitted.
Statement taking proves to be a large part of our business and clients come from all types of areas.
- Work accident statements
- Harassment statements
- Minor theft statements
- Traffic accident statement
- Insurance statements
- Child custody statement
Sometimes it can be a good idea to have a statement taken at a point in time, with a view to the statement assisting you in the future.
Therefore, at OJT Investigations Group we always advise clients to keep a copy in a safe and secure location, so as to be referred to a later date and time. Our statements are valid for many years, however ultimately, it is up to the courts to interpret the documents and their validity.
Guidelines to statement taking
In order to have a statement that holds up in court, engaging the services of a professional can be highly beneficial. The process is quite simple. First, we will meet with you (claimant or witness) and discuss the incident in detail. We call this the ‘witness interview’.
After the witness interview, you will be given the opportunity to check the details and provide corrections before the statement is signed and sworn by yourself and our qualified statement taker and Justice of the Peace.
In some cases, we will organise to have a support person present during the statement taking. If you have a problem understanding English, we can also organise to have an interpreter or translator in attendance.
We will also organise to have the right organisations involved to assist with the witness statement process if you are hearing or visually impaired etc.
Sometimes it can be difficult to put into words your observations and therefore, we can use diagrams and sketches to attach to the statement.
- Declared being true
- Witness is mentally and physically fit
- Don’t misrepresent yourself
- Don’t laugh, take the matter seriously
- Check and correct
- Witness to verify & sign
Things we will never do!
At OJT Investigations Group will never attempt to create a statement from a person who is physically or mentally unfit to make a statement, an example of this could be someone who is grossly intoxicated and unable to recall accurate facts because of their level of sobriety. It is important to us that you don’t feel like a suspect but rather, a person who is simply stating the truth about the situation.
Our job at OJT Investigations Group is to record accurate notes which will explain the situation in a way that cannot be misinterpreted by other jurisdictions. We will sometimes record the interview to give the statement further power. This will only be done with your prior knowledge and consent.
You can at the time of interview request a copy of your statement at no extra cost.
OJT Investigations Group takes statements from witnesses and persons of interest who could assist in the investigation of a traffic accident, theft or internal or external complaint of varying different natures. We can also take statements from witnesses in Criminal or Civil matters that the relevant agency has not approached and may assist in your defence.
At the completion of our statements, the person providing the statements signs to endorse that the information they have provided is their information and it is true and accurate. Statements tell a story and cannot be taken by anyone, statement taking is a skill learnt over time, ensuring that the elements of what you need to prove are covered in the words of the person giving you the version is critical. Matters are lost in court regularly over the poor taking of statements. Choose OJT Investigations Group for peace of mind, knowing our statements will more than meet your needs and expectations.
Work place bullying statements, accident investigation statements, theft/fraud related statements or family court related statements, we can assist with them all. Statements cannot be rushed, they require time for the person giving their story to remember as best they can the events that took place, answering those all important; what, when, why and how questions.
OJT Investigations Group can come to you or arrange to meet in a mutual location, a location which provides privacy and peace for the statements to be taken. All information provided to us is treated with the upmost privacy and confidentiality.