What is statement taking?
We take statements from witnesses in relation to accidents, incidents of theft and complaints etc.
Statement taking or witness statements as it also referred to, is a document recording evidence of a person, which is signed by that person to confirm the contents of the statement is true.
The statement can record what the witness saw, heard or felt. You can then keep a copy of the statement and it can by used by many regulatory bodies including the courts.
My statements are voluntary which means you are seeking out my 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.
Statements that are trusted
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 private investigator takes an additional statement to be presented with the client’s allegation.
My statements, written as a “first person” conversation, follow a professional format that 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.
Statements of many nature
- Work accident statements
- Harassment statements
- Minor theft statements
- Traffic accident statement
- Insurance statements
- Child custody statement
What are the statements used for?
Statements are normally used for legal purposes and can assist in getting out of a non beneficial situation.
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, I always advise clients to keep a copy in a safe and secure location. My 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 I 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 by yourself and me.
In some cases, I will organise to have a witness present during the statement taking. If you have a problem understanding English, I will organise to have an interpreter or translator in attendance. See this link for registered interpreters and translators.
I 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.
Finally we both sign and date the statement declaring the document to be true.
Important parts of statement taking
- Declared being true
- Witness is mentally and physically fit
- Don’t misrepresent yourself
- Don’t laugh
- Check and correct
- Witness to verify & sign
Things we will never do
I will never attempt to create a statement from a person who is physically or mentally unfit to make a statement. It is important to me that you don’t feel like a suspect but rather, a person who is simply stating the truth about the situation.
My job is to record accurate notes which will explain the situation in a way that can not be misinterpreted by other jurisdictions. I 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. If you want more information about QLD police witness statements, read this page for more information.