Investigations

Simply Corporate Risk has extensive experience of investigating crime and malpractice at all levels in organizations including:

  • Directors involved in Tax and VAT fraud
  • Dishonesty by managers and employees
  • Dishonesty and non-compliance relating to the supply of product, pricing, legal governance & legislation
  • Other reputational risks created through malpractice and misconduct by directors, and employees at all levels

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    Considerations on how to approach an investigation
    Supply & use of covert cameras

    Care needs to be taken on how to approach an investigation with a view to ensuring the strength of the employment case as distinct from any subsequent criminal proceedings.

    The cost of civil litigation through employment tribunals or civil courts can be more damaging than failure to secure a criminal prosecution.

    In a criminal case guilt has to be established beyond ‘reasonable doubt’, whereas in an employment case the employer only has to have a ‘reasonable belief’ that the employee is guilty.

    Furthermore, it should be noted that to comply with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, where there is evidence that an employee may have committed a crime, that person must be taken to the nearest designated police station in order for their rights to be made available to them. To do this, an employee would have to be suspended pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, which can take many months before the internal investigation can be properly completed. If action is taken in an employment process prior to the outcome of any criminal process, a tribunal will only consider what the employer knew at the time the decision was taken in a disciplinary process, and therefore the employment case can be significantly weakened.

    The quality of the evidence gathered and documented is key to defending any litigation.
    Simply Corporate Risk specializes in gathering and documenting evidence in an employment environment. It also guides clients through the process of dealing with disciplinary cases in a manner consistent with the ACAS Code of Practice. It cannot, however, advise what decision should be taken at the end of the disciplinary process.

    The risks associated with dealing with dishonesty by a Director are also significantly higher than with any other employee, as there are corporate responsibilities relating to Tax, VAT and Corporate law that require disclosure. The quality of the evidence as well as the decision-making around it are critical in avoiding expensive litigation.

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    Covert cameras should only be used where there is already evidence that supports a suspicion that an employee is being dishonest or is committing other acts of gross misconduct. They are used to obtain targeted and focused video footage that will avoid the risk of misinterpreting the existing evidence and serve to identify the person responsible. Their use should not be considered lightly. It cannot be sub-contracted to local installers, as this significantly increases the risk of employees finding out that cameras have been installed out of hours. Local people talk, gossip tends to proliferate and social media can quickly create a publicity crisis. SCR has it’s own team of installers who operate and travel nationally regardless of distance. Cameras are installed out of hours and in the middle of the night if necessary to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

    In the process of recording, innocent employees are also being recorded without their prior knowledge. The Data Protection Act makes provision for this in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances have been clarified in stated cases.

    SCR has over 20 years experience of the installation and use of covert cameras and will ensure clients do not risk litigation if the use of covert cameras is necessary.

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