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The Importance of Writing An Effective Incident Report

Writing and effective incident report is possibly one of the most important things you can do.

This is because you may have to rely on it in one, two, three or even five to tens year’s time.

And let’s face it, most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last week!

So keeping a good written record as evidence is crucial.

Therefore this is one of the most important things you need do.

It Won’t Happen To Me

How many times have you heard this saying and then rolled your eyes, thinking it won’t affect me? I’ve spoken to lots of people who thought the same until it happened to them…lack of evidence to support their reason for using force.

On the back of a recent video post title ‘You may as well send them a postcard’, I was recently having a conversation with a very experienced Door Supervisor.

This person has over 30+ years experience and has been working in the industry since aged 18.

He has seen plenty of changes over this time, but one thing has remained consistent.

You must accurately and comprehensively report incidents!

What Defines an Expert?

The persons point to me was that a barrister in Crown Court will always say that if you are a professionally trained person and you did not notify the other person(s) that you were about to use force on them, then your case would be dealt with as being intent.

That is to say, intent to cause the other person harm.

Particularly as they felt that the other persons recollection of the incident may be somewhat vague (ie; they had mysteriously forgotten that a conversation, by you, had taken place to try and de-escalate the situation!).

Who’s Telling the Truth?

This is where a lot of people lose confidence in the process (ie; court, hearing, tribunal etc) as it appears that their side of the story is not believed.

On the basis that one’s honestly held belief is a subjective opinion, then it could be argued that ‘it is your version of the truth versus another person’s version of the truth and in the middle lies the real truth’.

Whose version of the truth are they going to believe and why?

Who is Trevel Henry

For those who don’t know me.

I am a long-established trainer and consultant.

I was also the former head of training for a major Police Service.

That means I have experience in not only delivering training but experience in developing, reviewing, evaluating and auditing training too.

Whilst working there I was regularly asked by the complaints and discipline unit to review disciplinary cases, many of which involved the use of force.

I also ran the report writing course for the police too (so I have a lot of experience in that area).

I am a highly respected Expert Witness on the Use of Reasonable Force in the UK and overseas.

I have done over three hundred expert witness cases.

I have worked on high profile cases where restraint related issues have been a key factor, involving the police, prison, security, schools, care setting, NHS and young people’s services.

But what does this mean to you?

It means that NFPS Ltd (of which I am one of the new Directors) can provide training for you that is legally defensible.

This continues the legacy started by Mark Dawes.

People Seeing Things From Your Point of View

Whilst we have a duty to continue to act professionally and only, if necessary use force that is proportionate to the circumstances post incident one area that you must get right is how you record what occurred.

Any reckless or intentional application of unlawful force to another person is an assault.

Therefore it is vitally important that you explain what brought about your use of force, so that other people can ‘see things from your point of view’.

Accounting for and justifying for your Actions

Having been involved in an incident you must make/write notes in the order of which the incidents occurred.

If any action is taken against you or to support you then your notes will be very closely scrutinised.

So they must be comprehensive.

It is important that you provide a detailed account of the circumstances leading up to, during and after any use of force including the other persons actions and your counteractions!

Whys is this important?

Physical intervention is a very contentious issue and will always remain a contentious issue.

Some of the key elements that need to be included in your report/statement are:

- Your arrival on the scene

- The other person’s actions and behaviours

- Your actions and behaviours

The above headings are examples of a list which provide a storyline leading up to why you felt it was necessary to physically intervene.

A clear and precise picture must be presented to the court to help them hear, learn and understand your reasons for why you took particular actions to manage and resolve the situation.

Explaining how you were emotionally, psychologically and verbally feeling will assist others to understand how you were feeling.

Seeing the problem from your point of view will help a jury to understand that your actions were appropriate, proportionate and necessary (ie; reasonable) in the circumstances.

You Should Want A Training Provider Who Will Turn Up To Support You

In all of the expert witness cases I’ve been involved with not once has a training provider shown up in court to support the person they trained.

In fact many do the opposite.

They’ll claim that the person under investigation didn’t do the technique properly as it is shown in the manual.

The reason why?

They’d rather throw the individual under the bus then lose the training contract.

With us we’d rather lose the training contract than help throw a decent person under the bus.

The Solution To The Problem

The problem is finding the right provider – and finding the time to do this.

When you train with us you will receive a proper accredited qualification.

A BTEC Level 3 Award in Physical Restraint Instruction -

Issued by one of the largest Educational Awarding Organisations in the world.

Report Writing Training Included on The Next Course Too!

Because this is such an important issue we are going to include a report writing module on our next BTEC Level 3 Physical Restraint Instructor Award Course with our sister company -

I will personally deliver this session, which will combine my police report writing experience with my expert witness experience.

Why is this important?

Not only do I know how to write good incident reports.

I also know what an expert witness and lawyer will look for in them to try to discredit them.

Therefore, this will be the most legally defensible report writing course available.

And we will be giving you this for free (along with all of the other bonuses) when you attend our next course.

What To Do Next!

Click this link to arrange a free 30 minute Strategy Session with us so that we can get to know each other – Free 30 Minute Strategy Session

During the session we can discuss your goals and answer any questions you may have about the course.

So, if you are interested in becoming a competent and experienced trainer, with the back-up and support you may well need one day, talk to us.


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