Carrying out a criminal investigation can be a daunting prospect for any organisation especially if it is the first time you have had to consider doing so. AuditOne has a well established criminal investigation team that draws on over 250 years of experience gained in several UK and overseas police forces, Interpol, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, The National Crime Agency, Department for Work and Pensions, Local Authorities, the NHS and national regulatory bodies.
This wide range of expertise means we have the skills and relevant up to date experience to deal with any criminal investigation requirement that your organisation may have. We currently provide criminal investigation services to over 25 NHS organisations and a number of private sector healthcare provider organisations.
Regardless of whether theft within your organisation is perpetrated internally or externally, the impact can be serious. It is important to deal with those responsible quickly and professionally to ensure appropriate sanctions are applied and, importantly, to ensure it stops.
The level of reported fraud continues to be one of the highest year on year increases and can have a significant impact on an organisation. From low level fraudulent time sheet or expenses fraud to large organised targeted attacks, we can help.
Any allegation of bribery can have a long and lasting impact on an organisation both financially and reputationally. We work with organisations to proactively manage bribery risks and investigate allegations.
Often working in parallel with police forces, we assist organisations to investigate and manage allegations of assault within the workplace.
Often working in parallel with police forces, we assist organisations to investigate and manage allegations of sexual assault or inappropriate sexual conduct within the workplace.
We operate within a robust criminal investigation framework which is built on law enforcement national best practice and has well established quality assurance gateways.
Below, we set out the key phases of our investigation cycle but it important to recognise every investigation is different and as a result these phases often overlap, change in order and run simultaneously. Our investigation cycle allows us to be nimble and react to ever changing circumstances all whilst supported by our quality assurance gateways. This maintains a high level of quality and consistency regardless of the fluid nature of an investigation.
Our first critical step is to understand what is alleged to have happened and whether or not it is appropriate and proportionate to carry out a criminal investigation. We offer robust and evidenced based challenge to you and your organisation; this will assist you in determining whether you should pursue a criminal investigation and, if so, advise you on the appropriate next steps.
Every investigation is different and may require a different approach, for example in some cases the identity of the offender is known from the outset and the investigation quickly enters the suspect management phase whereas in others, the identity of the offender may never be known or is only discovered after further investigation.
We will guide and support you and your organisation through this difficult first phase and will recommend the appropriate next steps.
Once it is clear that the allegation meets the threshold for carrying out initial lines of enquiry, our specialist criminal investigators set about securing the evidence. An investigation plan is created and agreed with your organisation and we then follow the evidence. A fundamental principle of any criminal investigation is to follow the evidence whether it points towards or away from the suspected offender. It is for this reason we quickly review the outcomes of the initial lines of enquiry and, where necessary, review and update investigation plans with your organisation.
This phase can include interviews with witnesses, seizing of exhibits, digital forensic examination and data gathering with external parties.
We robustly consider and critically test the recovered evidence at this stage to ensure the investigation is on track and is meeting the initial lines of enquiry agreed in the investigation plan. At this stage, we assess the case against the following possible outcomes:
No further action
The initial lines of enquiry determine that no criminal offences have been committed and there is no evidence to support an internal disciplinary process for wrongdoing. The investigation is concluded with no further action required.
Further lines of enquiry
A review of the initial lines of enquiry establish that either further or new lines of enquiry are necessary to allow appropriate determination as to whether the matter should progress to phase 4. The investigation returns to phase 2 under a revised investigation plan.
Referral for internal process
The initial lines of enquiry establish wrongdoing by an individual but the level of evidence falls short of the required threshold to consider prosecution. This could be based on either evidential grounds or public interest grounds. The matter is referred to the organisation for consideration of internal proceedings including disciplinary procedures and financial recovery.
Proceed to offender management
The initial lines of enquiry establish evidence that a criminal offence has been committed and it is proportionate and appropriate to pursue a criminal prosecution. The investigation would progress to phase 4.
Phase 4 can be a daunting phase for any organisation as it can involve considering whether steps should be taken to arrest an alleged offender, search an offender's home or carry out formal interviews under caution. We recognise for us this is what we do, day in, day out, but for some organisations it might be the first time you have had to consider this. We work with organisations to explore the most appropriate offender management approach, as criminal prosecution is only one option when considering investigation outcomes and sanctions.
We work directly with the Crown Prosecution Service and police forces depending on the type of organisation we are carrying out the investigation on behalf of.
An important part of any financial related offence is robustly pursuing financial recovery. Our team includes ex police financial investigators and, where possible, we use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (with the support of police forces) to pursue financial recovery through the criminal courts. However, we also have established processes to pursue financial losses with individuals through civil courts. We will explore these options with you and your organisation during the course of any relevant investigation.