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

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.

 

A Brief History of Subtitles

Most TV programs and films, now have the option for Subtitles, in fact it is now very rare not to have the option. But how have they become mainstream?

This blog post explores exactly what Subtitles are and how they came about.

What are Subtitles?

Subtitles are the overlay of text explaining the narrative of film or to that is being shown on the screen.

When were they first used?

According to Wikipedia they were first seen in 1903 as epic, descriptive titles in Edwin S. Porter’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. (The technique may have been invented by cartoonist and filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton.)

These were in fact Intertitles, which was descriptive text put in between scenes of silent films, to explain to the audience what is happening.

In 1927 the first sound film was produced, the audience could hear the actors, so the intertitles inserted between scenes disappeared. However many film producers found that making several language versions, or have the film post-synchronized (dubbed) in another language expensive, so still wanted to be able to overlay text onto the film. This became what we now call subtitles, since this technique is comparatively cheap.

On August 14, 1938, the BBC broadcast Arthur Robison’s Der Student von Prag in a subtitled version.

How were they created?

In 1930 a Norwegian inventor called Leif Eriksen, took out a patent for a method of stamping titles directly on to the images on the film strip, first moistening the emulsion layer to soften it.

Later, in 1935, a Hungarian inventor, O. Turchányi, registered a patent for a method whereby the plates were heated to a sufficiently high temperature to melt away the emulsion on the film without the need for a softening bath.

Both of these techniques produced erratic results, sometimes you were unable to see the letters.

In 1932 two separate inventors R. Hruska, in Budapest, and Oscar I. Ertnæs in Oslo took out patents on chemical processes.

It wasn’t until 1988 that a laser process was developed by Denis Auboyer in Paris and by Titra-Film in Paris and Brussels.

In the 1970s two systems were developed using a word processor. The first was based on teletext, the second used a computer-controlled character generator.

Why do we use Subtitles?

Subtitles are primarily used with the deaf and hard of hearing in mind, although many hearing film and television viewers choose to use them.

As well as allowing foreign films or TV programs to be shown in the native language.

 

What is the best way to deal with the media?

Dealing with the media can be a very daunting task. Say the right thing and your PR campaign will be hailed a massive success; say the wrong thing, like Gerald Ratner[1] and you can watch your stocks and shares plummet, your customers run to the hills and have a major PR and business disaster on your hands.

But exactly what can you do to ensure that you get the best press coverage and make you and your brand look outstanding.

Here is our list of dos and don’ts will assist when dealing with the media

Do:

  1. Have a well-organised media/press plan – To do this create an outline for whatever coverage you are planning, whether it’s a press conference, a product launch, or a corporate event.
  2. Aim, Shoot, Fire – It is important to know what your aim is. Are you looking for a feature story on a programme, an opinion or thought leadership piece or even a guest slot on a show.
  3. Have a designated media person within your organisation – This person is your go to girl or boy. They will be responsible for all media communications, they will work out who you need to connect with in the various media outlets and will make it easier for the media and press to connect with your organisation if there is just one point of call.
  4. Clear and concise messaging – It may sound clichéd, but it is important that every area of your business is singing from the same hymn sheet. The perfect way to communicate this to your wider organisation is to create an internal memo for employees to read. Make it as simple, clear and easy to understand as possible.
  5. Remain united – If you are having to deal with something unpleasant then it is always best to ensure that there is united front. Contrasting opinions can confuse and damage a company brand even more as your customers, potential customers and employees will not know who to believe.

Don’t

  1. Talk, unless you are comfortable – If you don’t know how to respond to a media question and you are not the main media contact then it is always better to politely decline their question and point them in the direction of your organisations media contact.
  2. Be surprised by misquotes – There are no guarantees in dealing with the media that what you say will be misinterpreted, so you may not get the results you were looking for.

Summary:

In order to move your business forward you will from time to time need to embrace the media and it can be a love/hate relationship sometimes, but ultimately you need to ensure a good working relationship with them in order to improve your brand exposure and trustworthiness.

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ratner

What questions should you ask before hiring a virtual assistant?

Outsourcing the right virtual assistant or secretary is extremely important to the success of your company, it allows you to concentrate on the core aspect of your business. But with so many companies out there offering this service, what should you look for when selecting the right company for you.

Here is our checklist for getting it right:

  1. Confidentiality – Do they have measures in place to ensure all of your and your customers information is confidential. A non-disclosure agreement would be ideal, will the company and the virtual assistant be willing to sign one.
  2. Knowledge – Do they have knowledge and expertise in your industry?
  3. Multi-lingual – If your business is international, do you require multi-lingual assistants? Working with someone who speaks in the native language of your customers can be extremely helpful.
  4. Tasks – Have a list of tasks that you want your virtual assistant to work on. Remember they will be freeing up your time to allow you to be more productive.
  5. Costs – Be mindful of how much it would cost you to employ someone to do this role, how much would you be willing to pay someone who is outsourced?
  6. Time – What hours would you like them to be available to you?
  7. SLA – Always get a copy of their service agreement, before signing anything, that way you know what to expect from their service.
  8. Sickness/Holiday – What support will they offer you if your virtual assistant is sick or on holiday.
  9. Clear Payment Terms – Knowing how much you will be paying and when payment is due will help you manage your accounts.
  10. Communication – How do you want to communicate with your virtual assistant; phone, Skype, email, text?

Here at Fingertips we can allocate you with a secretary who can take your telephone calls, manage your diary, arrange meetings, co-ordinate events, send emails on your behalf and also transcribe your audio.

To find out more about our services email info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

Top Five Questions to Ask a Transcription Service

If you are new to the transcription industry and have never used a transcription service before, but find that you have the need to, here are our top questions you should ask before choosing a transcription provider

  1. Who will be transcribing of your work? – Some transcription companies use software, others use multiple transcriptionists with different skill sets. If you are looking for someone who is knowledgeable in your field then ask for it, after all who is better positioned to transcribe your work than someone who knows it. Be wary of transcription services that use transcription software as it can lead to inconsistencies and poor quality.
  2. How much do they charge? Are there any hidden fees? – As with most things, it is important to read the small print. If it appears to be cheap or too good to be true, then it probably is. Think, does the rate they quote include everything you need, or will there be additional charges? Some service providers charge extra for; timestamps, fast delivery, extra time to transcribe because of poor audio. Make sure you know exactly how you’ll be charged and for what.
  3. Confidentiality and Privacy – What’s their privacy policy when dealing with your documents? Are they willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).This is especially important if your audio contains personal/sensitive or confidential information. Legally you need to ensure that the appropriate measures are in place to ensure it stays safe, secure, private and confidential. Work with a service provider that is registered under the Data Protection Act.
  4. How soon is now? – What is their turnaround time? If your transcription requirement is urgent it is likely to cost more than the advertised rate.
  5. Accuracy – This is an extremely important factor, as you want your work to be highly accurate and proofed. What is their accuracy rate? Is proof reading included as standard? If you are looking for a specific type of transcription such as medical or legal, then is the transcriptionist experienced in this area, as if not this can greatly affect the accuracy of your transcription.

As with any service, it is recommended that you get a few quotes from different service providers, where possible ask for a testimonial or case study from someone who has used their service and is in the same industry as you. This will give you a good understanding of their strengths and indeed weaknesses.

Here at Fingertips Typing Services we offer a wide range of transcription services and have transcriptionists experienced in industries such as: Legal, Medical, Academic and Insurance. If you would like a quote please email info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

The Truth About Virtual PA Services

A Virtual PA service is a great way for your business to save money and increase productivity, however, there are a lot of myths out there about virtual PA services. This article tells you the truth about  what to expect and debunks the myths.

  1. Virtual PAs are fully trained and experienced

The myth out there is that all Virtual PA services are run from call centres and while for it can be true of some low-quality virtual PAs, if you do your checks thoroughly enough you will find that most services are extremely professional, with highly trained and skilled PAs. Fingertips Typing Services offers support from an expert team.

  1. What about our brand and culture?

The right Virtual PA provider should be able to think, act and behave like an employee,. At Fingertips Typing Services we act as an extension to your brand, our team will fit seamlessly into your business.

  1. Supported 24/7, Even with sickness and holidays.

Unlike in-house PAs, a virtual one will ensure that there is cover should there be sickness or holiday. At Fingertips Typing Services our team of PAs work around the clock ensuring that there is always someone there when you need us.

  1. Multi-skilled PAs

A high-quality service provider should be able to give you access to more than one PA’s skill set.  So if you need something out of the ordinary, for example you may need to translate a report or email to an overseas customer then you can pull on the resources of a multilingual PA. At Fingertips Typing Services we have a wide team of professionals from different backgrounds, skill sets and many are multilingual giving you the support you need.

  1. Reduce your costs

A virtual PA can offer you substantial cost savings: no holiday or sickness pay, no desk space, no PAYE to name but a few. Additionally, they are flexible so you only need to use them when you have a requirement for it, rather than paying a full-time salary.

If you are looking for a virtual PA or would like to know more about the services we offer please email info@fingertipstyping.co.uk