Transcription and Police Interviews

History

It is believed that police cautions were first used in the early 1800s.[1]

By the 1920s, police began to give drivers  written warnings for motoring offences. The Home Office, in 1928, published statistics on cautions. [2]

From 1995 cautions were recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC), and it was recommended that cautions should be retained for 5 years, though each police force could follow its own guidelines. [1]

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 introduced the concept of statutory Conditional Cautions.[1]

In 2008 a Home Office circular made clear suspects must receive a written explanation of the implications before accepting a caution, to meet the informed consent obligation, and provided a new form to be signed by the offender which explained in considerable detail the consequences. [1]

TV/Movie Police Cautions

It’s a serious situation when an individual is being cautioned, as they are most likely getting arrested and charged with a crime.

However, the process is not always dramatic or exciting, so when TV series and movies are made, everything tends to be a bit more over the top

Remember these:

“Book’em, Danno” – Hawaii 5-0

“Get your trousers on – you’re nicked!” – The Sweeney

Do you remember any catchphrases of TV/movie cops? Let us know in the comments section below.

Police Caution in Interview

You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence, if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

This version of the police caution has been used from the inception of the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984.

The caution prior to that was “you do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so, but what you say may be given in evidence.”

Around the world, police cautions differ in language but follow the same format.

In the US, it is called Miranda warning, but also known as Miranda rights and is a right to silence. [3]

You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?

In Australia, the caution differs slightly from state to state:

New South Wales – You are not obliged to say or do anything unless you wish to do so, but whatever you say or do may be used in evidence. Do you understand?

Queensland – Before I ask you any questions I must tell you that you have the right to remain silent. This means you do not have to say anything, answer any question or make any statement unless you wish to do so. However, if you do say something or make a statement, it may later be used as evidence. Do you understand?

In New Zealand, the caution follows the same lines:

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to make any statement. Anything you say will be recorded and may be given in evidence in court. You have the right to speak with a lawyer without delay and in private before deciding to answer any questions. Police have a list of lawyers you may speak to for free.

These examples of police cautions were taken from Wikipedia – click here for more examples from around the world.

PACE

In 1984, the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act came into being, with the purpose of regulating police powers and protecting pubic rights.[4]

Additional codes of practice have been published and updated since 1984 to provide specific guidance around :

  • Code C from May 2014 – Requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects not related to terrorism in police custody.
  • Code E, first published in January 2016 – Audio recording of interviews with suspects in the police station.

Code C lays out when cautions should be given, the terms of the caution as well as specifics around the cautioning of juveniles and the mentally vulnerable. It also gives guidance on general interviews, those in police stations and interviews of juveniles and the mentally vulnerable.

Code E explains how audio recordings should be conducted at each stage of the interview.

Evidence and Its Uses

Evidence that has been recorded enables the prosecutor to make a decision informed by what was said at interview.

It is also entered as an exhibit to the officer’s statement, and may be used in the same way as physical evidence.

Should the recording be entered and accepted into evidence, it will be used for the conduct of the case, when it has been accepted by the defence.

There is no requirement to prepare a record of the interview if the person who was questioned about and/or charged with an offence nor when the person stays silent or only says ‘no comment’ throughout the interview.

Transcription of Evidence

If the recorded interview is accepted as evidence, it can be played or transcribed.[5] Should there be a need for the interview to be transcribed, there are guidelines that should be followed, outlined in PACE Code E Note 5A. [6]

5A Any written record of an audibly recorded interview should be made in accordance with national guidelines approved by the Secretary of State, and with regard to the advice contained in the Manual of Guidance for the preparation, processing and submission of prosecution files.

Fingertips Typing Services can transcribe your police interviews.

Written by: Debbie Rowe, Transcriber for Fingertips Typing Services.

Visit Fingertips Typing Services.

Resources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_caution
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/250902/crimestats.pdf
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning
  4. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/police-and-criminal-evidence-act-1984-pace-codes-of-practice
  5. http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/tape_recorded_interviews/
  6. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/crim-practice-directions-V-evidence-2014.pdf
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Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Tech Becomes Reality

On 4th October 2017 Google announced the launch of its new translation tech headphones, Pixel Buds, which it claims can simultaneously translate spoken language into the ear of the listener. There is much hype around this new technology.

Technology which reminds me of the Babel fish from Douglas Adams book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which excreted simultaneous translations directly into its host’s ear canal.

According to Google, the Pixel Buds can translate 40 languages using Google’s existing Google Translate technology.

But could this technology be more dangerous than useful, after all how can technology understand context, syntax, grammar, not to mention accents and dialects. Language is complex; there can be multiple ways of saying the same thing in another language, making the potential for mistakes, huge.

Have Google thought about this?

Googles Pixel buds use Googles translation software which is already available to use online and does not therefore take into account any of the above. So in order to prevent insulting a potential customer by translating any advertising or copy into a foreign language, I would still highly recommend using a real person who has good knowledge of the language to translate for you.

Even people that should know better get it wrong, take the team behind Donald Trump last year who at the Republican National Convention, attempted to combat the impression that he did not have a high approval rate amongst US Hispanics by having members of the crowd hold up signs that read “Hispanics for Trump.” In Spanish.

The campaign team utterly botched the translation. Out of the three words on the signs, the only world they got right was “Trump.” “Hispanics” should have been translated to Hispanos. And while “para” could be translated as “for,” it’s used in a different context. The sign should have said “por.” Going to prove that you can’ always rely on technology to get it right!

 

 

 

 

How To Improve Your Words Per Minute?

We all know that typing speed matters, but being able to type quickly and accurately is a very rare skill and could be what makes you stand out between you and another equally qualified applicant.

The average typing speed is 60 words per minute, but how can you improve upon that and stay accurate?

Here are our five techniques that we know will help you increase your typing speed and beat the competition to secure that dream job.

  1. Repeat, repeat, repeat– Touch typing is all about memory,training your brain to know where those keys are without having to consciously think about it. As with learning any new skill the best and quickest way to do this is through repetition. Start by doing the same exercise over and over so that your memory learns the movements and the keys.
  2. Technique matters – The fact is touch typing is 80% technique, 10% accuracy and 10% speed. It is important to ensure that you are sat in the correct position and your hands are in the right place.
  3. Strike a pose – Good posture can work wonders and is often overlooked. Poor posture can make you feel uncomfortable, affect your energy levels and improve accuracy. It is so important to allow your fingers to rest in the correct position as this will ensure that you type faster, more accurately and will help prevent injury.
  4. Don’t look at the keyboard – It might sound crazy but it honestly works, try typing and avoid looking at the keyboard. Initially, you may make more mistakes, but you will learn the positions of the keys much more quickly, which in the long term will improve your typing speed.
  5. Test yourself – There are lots of different typing speed testing software out there, so find one that you like and test yourself regularly to see how your are improving

Practice Makes Perfect

The old saying really is true, as with anything the only way to perfect something is to keep at it. Even if you practice typing for 30 minutes each day you will see an improvement in your speed and accuracy, which will make all the difference in standing out from the competition and landing your dream job.

 

 

What Tools Do You Need For Transcribing?

As with any career, not only do you need to be skilled in your profession you also need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job. After all you wouldn’t be a mechanic without having your own set of tools to be able to fix a car.

So we have broken down the tools that a transcriber needs to do their job into two categories: Need to have and Nice to have.

Need to have:

  • Headphones
  • A keyboard
  • A quiet space to work in, ideally an office or room where you are free from distractions
  • Word processing software
  • Good internet connection
  • Transcription software

Nice to have:

  • Noise-cancelling headphones, though not essential these can be costly which is why they are in the nice to have category
  • A transcription pedal, this will help you navigate through audio files with your feet. However if you just starting out in this career it would be better to invest in it later once you have ensured it is the career for you
  • Time tracking software, this will ensure accuracy of how long you spend on each audio file

How to select the right headphones?

Your headphones are probably one of the most important tools you will need, so it is important to select the right ones. If you have the budget for it then we would highly recommend noise cancelling ones as it will make a big difference.

  1. Comfort – As you will be wearing them for most of your working day, comfort is your number one priority
  2. Noise cancelling quality – Can you hear lots of noise from the rest of your environment, would the noise prevent or distract you from transcribing?
  3. USB Plug

Final thoughts

Remember, it is extremely important to have all the tools in place before you embark on you transcription career, after all you wouldn’t build a house without brick, concrete, sand, cement and all the tools that go with building.

 

Back to School: The Transcriber Essentials

It is that time of year again, when the shops are fully of sparkly new stationery items, the TV is full of adverts for school uniforms and back to school essentials. So, it seemed fitting to do a blog post on the Transcriber Essentials.

Here are our top five essential skills you need to be a good Transcriber:

  1. Good use of English language – having good use and understanding of English grammar and punctuation is essential to being a successful and good transcriber.
  2. Keen listening skills – This will ensure that you get the words and context right, after all, not all recordings are of good quality, speakers accents may change or be hard to understand.
  3. Know how to research – Whilst transcribing you may encounter words that you may never have heard of. This is especially true if you are dealing with a new area of transcription such as medical or legal. You may need to do extra research to understand the subject or to clear up any audio that might not have been clear initially.
  4. Typing speed – Now speed is not always everything, especially if some of the audio files are on complicated subjects, however the ability to type quickly is advantageous because you could be listening to very lengthy files, or have short deadlines that need to be met in turning around files for your clients.
  5. Excellent proofreading skills – Once you have transcribed the audio file, it is extremely important that you read back and proof what you have typed to ensure everything makes sense and that the tone and context are conveyed accurately.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of essentials but, the tip of the iceberg really.

If you are interested in becoming a transcriber or would like to benefit from our services then please email us at: info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

 

The Secrets to Successfully Working From Home

You might think that working from home would be easy, especially if you are doing it to give yourself a better work life balance or to fit around your family. But, it is harder than it looks, it takes a great deal of determination and organisation to not slip into bad habits and ensure that you are as effective as possible.

Before you take the plunge, have a look at our 9 tips to getting the most out of working from home.

  1. Have a dedicated office – This is number one for a reason, it is incredibly important to have your own workspace as separating your ‘work life’ from your home life will ensure that you are most productive.
  2. Use your commuting time wisely – If you used to commute an hour each way to work everyday, then it means you have a whole extra two hours a day to use. While it can be tempting to stay in bed for those extra two hours, it would be better and more productive to put them to good use. For example go for a 60 minute run in the morning, to get your body and mind active, then spend another 30 mins clearing down emails or planning your day and repeat at the end of the day.
  3. Don’t be the baby sitter or the cleaner – It is so important to try and disconnect yourself from home-life during your working hours. Doing non-work-related tasks will reduce your productivity. So when your partners calls to say can you pop the washing on, the answer should be no.
  4. Breaks are important – Just like in an office taking a break from your work and your desk is extremely important, not only to reduce the amount of screen time you have, but a change of scene can also help you be more productive. It could help you solve that difficult question you have been trying to answer or come up with that cool strap line.
  5. Keep in the loop – Keeping in touch with your colleagues is extremely important, not only to share ideas and discuss problems but to ensure loneliness doesn’t set in.
  6. Stick to a routine – Structuring your day will ensure that you are motivated and productive. It will also help your colleagues and customers know when you are contactable.
  7. Schedule email time – It has been well documented that you are more productive when you are not continually checking your emails. So, schedule the times that you look at and answer emails, allowing you to focus on your key tasks and not get distracted.
  8. Get dressed – It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, but trust me, don’t. Getting dressed shows the work life you that you mean business and will ensure that you are motivated.
  9. Get out of the house – This is extremely important, because working from home can be a little isolating. Going for a walk or nipping down to the local shop to buy a paper will give you some fresh air and human interaction. Not to mention much needed vitamin D, which you can only get from sunlight. You don’t want to become a vampire!

These tips are tried and tested by us, we know they work but they do take some getting used to. If you have never worked from home before then using these tips as a guideline for a month will help you get your work life balance right.

It is important to remember though that working from home is not for everyone, if you are finding it hard to be motivated or are getting too distracted then maybe it isn’t for you.

The Dos and Don’ts of Copywriting

Writing good copy isn’t as simple as just putting pen to paper, otherwise everyone would be a fantastic copywriter.

Good copywriting can be hard to come by and takes an exceptional amount of skill and knowledge to learn.

At Fingertips we have a brilliant team of copywriters who produce great work, I asked them to tell me their list of what to do and what not to do when it comes to copywriting and this is what they came up with.

The Dos:

  1. Know Your Audience – You must know your audience so that you can talk directly to them, in their language and their voice. Never make assumptions that you know the audience ensure you do your research.
  2. Have a Clear Call to Action – While you are writing it is important to remember why you are doing it. Call to action is extremely important, what do you want your audience to do.If your call to action is not clear and noticeable, no one is going to do anything.
  3. Write for scanners – Writing for people online is different for writing for someone who is reading a book. Copy online is read vertically, not horizontally. Selecting the correct fonts, using headers, bold, italics, will create a trail for the eye to follow.
  4. Keep an eye on what your clients competitors are doing – If you have a new client,then before you even start writing, check out what their competitors are doing. After all you want to make sure that any ideas you come up with are unique.
  5. Remember proposition is everything – Differentiate your clients business, by making sure you create a distinctive brand and voice.

The don’ts

  1. Don’t forget to make a plan – Regardless of what you are writing it is important to make a plan. This will allow you to harness your ideas, highlight benefits and ensure that your copy is not jumping around all over the place.
  2. Don’t write for everyone – Not everyone is going to get you, it is a myth that having lots of likes on your Facebook page means you are successful. The best and most successful businesses write for a small subset of your entire audience, making it much more personal.
  3. Don’t create long sentences – This can be hard especially if you have something complicated to say. But long sentences will put off your readers. Ideally you should aim for no more than 10-15 words in a line.
  4. Don’t forget to spell check – A simple rule, I know, but you will be amazed as to how many people forget it. Spelling and grammatical errors make your work look lazy and unprofessional. So spend the few minutes it takes to run the spell checker!
  5. Don’t forget to proofread – Not only should you cast your eye over your text before submitting it, it is well worth getting someone else to have a look too, because sometimes you can be too close to the subject.

So all you need to do now is follow this list of dos and don’ts and you should notice that your copy improves and is more effective. Effective Copywriting is a skill that can be learned, but if you do not have time or do not want to write your copy, we can help you.
Fingertips Typing Services have a team of talented copywriters on hand to help create fantastic pieces of work, from adverts to brochures and websites. Contact us: info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

 

Our Five Simple Tips on Translation

Translating documents can be a frustrating challenge, but it can also be very rewarding. Here are our tips to make the translation of documents more enjoyable, simpler and easier for your audience to understand.

Here are our top five tips to remember when writing for translation:

  1. Read through your piece carefully before you start – The key to successful translation is knowing and understanding the content of what you are translating. You must first understand exactly what the writer is trying to say, and second, exactly how they’re trying to say it.
  2. Understand the writers style – It is important to pay attention to every single word and phrase, you will begin to notice the writers style and tone. Make notes if you need to, especially if you spot anything that will be difficult to translate.
  3. Be brief – The simpler the translation, the easier it is to understand, so keep those sentences short and sweet.
  4. Avoid humour -It rarely translates well and can often offend the reader.
  5. Avoid jargon and regional phrases – Remember that not all expressions are universally understood, some just do not translate.

Don’t forget that once you have completed your translation, read it back, do it after you have written it, then leave it a day and re-read again. You may spot an error or discover sentences that could do with a little extra tinkering. There is much to be said for sleeping on it, when your mind is fresh and you have had a rest.

Fingertips Typing Services offers Translation Services, speak to us today about how we can help you contact us: info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

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Five Foolproof Interview Techniques

Conducting an interview can be tough, you want to elicit as much information from a person as possible, whilst remaining as friendly and personable as possible. The more someone is at ease with you the more they are likely to open up and talk to you.

But, not everyone has this skill, which is why we have put together our five foolproof interview techniques which will help you get the most from your interviewee.

1. Location, location, location – It seems undos simple but you will be surprised how many interviews I have seen conducted in coffee shops! Find somewhere quiet where you can both talk openly without losing focus (and can actually hear something!).

The person you are interviewing needs to feel comfortable and probably doesn’t want every Tom, Dick or indeed Harry knowing their personal details.

If you haven’t got an office, then rent a space or room at a local hotel or business centre.

2. Know your ABCs of the person you are interviewing – I am sure you have all watched or heard a TV or Radio interview where the person interviewing has been misinformed by their researchers and asks a celebrity a question about something totally unrelated to them.

Know your stuff, don’t rely on someone else to give you the information go out there and look into it yourself. It shows respect to the person you are interviewing and allows you to ask specific questions about themselves.

3. Choose your questions wisely – Timing is everything after all depending on how long you have with the person you really only have minutes to gather all the information you needs.

So choose open question, ones that will give you more details and allow the person to elaborate more.

4. Take Notes – This is extremely important, after all you want to remember everything, but taking notes, listening and asking questions can be tricky. If you can have someone sit in on the interview and take notes, or even better use a recording device to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

5. Explain yourself – It is important that you explain yourself and the interview process, so that the person you are meeting with knows what to expect. This sets up the parameters of the interview and keeps you both focused.

These five foolproof interview techniques are just the tip of the iceberg, but if you follow them you will get the information you require and have a positive experience.

 

 

 

Do you need insurance to work from home?

This question crops up a lot, after all, home working is growing in popularity because it is flexible, allowing employees to work hours that suit their family and lifestyle.

Advancements in technology, such as broadband, home PCs and wi-fi, means that people can work just about anywhere.

But, you shouldn’t think that just because you operate your business from home that your home owners insurance will cover a mishap. You must run through your policies with a fine tooth comb.

If you are operating a business, even as a sole trader then you must have liability insurance, which covers its legal liability for personal injury to employees while acting in the course of their employment.

If you are an employee then you need to check that the company you work for has employee liability insurance and that the cover extends to where the employee is working home. Public Liability Insurance is also recommended, which covers the legal liability of the employer and its employees for injury and/or property damage to third parties, covers situations where the employee is working at or from home.

So what risks could you face?

As soon as a client enters your house then you could be liable if anything untoward happens to them. They might not even cross the threshold. If they trip and injure themselves on that cracked front step you’ve been meaning to get fixed for ages then they might have a claim against you.

The bottom line is, the only way to protect you, your business and clients is to ensure that you are properly insured. If you aren’t then you could risk your reputation and your livelihood.

 

 

Six Essential Copywriting Tips

Good copy doesn’t just happen, it takes time, effort and skill to write a great piece of text.

I have so much advice to share with you, but for this post I thought I would keep it short and snappy, giving you the bare essentials to get you started.

Here are my six top tips:

  1. Use plenty of paragraph breaks – No one wants to sift through a large block of text, so embrace white space.
  2. Select the right font – Choosing the right font is important, selecting the wrong one can turn off any potential readers immediately. For example; I cannot bear reading anything in comic sans, I think it looks amateur and unprofessional.
  3. Use everyday language – This will ensure that you engage with as wide an audience as possible. Don’t try to be clever and if you can’t think of an appropriate word, keep thinking or come back to it, never use a thesaurus!
  4. Be emotional – By adding emotion you will make your writing more personal, giving your audience an insight into you.
  5. Become ‘The Master’ in punctuation! – Good copy has good rhythm, make your words flow with the expert use of punctuation, but beware of over using commas and explanation marks.
  6. Use Headings and Sub-headings – These will focus your readers attention and break up the copy (remember point one). It will also point out sections of interest, as we all tend to skim read. In addition headings and subheadings will really help with your websites SEO, so make the most of them.

Keep these tips in mind when you write, great copywriting is within your reach. Following these tips will improve your copy and ultimately make it easier for your readers to understand and respond to your campaigns.