Time stamp on police interview tape altered
Hi I was interviewed just over a year ago by the police under caution. At the start of the interview I confronted the police officer who interviewed me with information that completely discredited his case. He repeatedly told me it wasn't relevant and to move on. I continued with the rest of the interview, I didn't know what else to do. Although at this point I felt it was a farce.
Following the interview I requested a copy of my interview tapes. I provided all of the information requested of me and was initially refused the tapes. The reason given being I was not entitled to it unless I was charged. I haven't been charged.
The officer was then taken off the case following a complaint I made against him for the above and other unacceptable behaviors and he also had quite a bit of time off sick.
During this time my advocate requested the tapes and I was provided with a transcription of my interview. In the transcription much of the interview had been removed.
I informed my advocate and we requested the tapes again due to my concern about the missing information in the transcript. As they had already given me the transcript they had to eventually give me a copy of the tapes of my interview.
On the first tape the time stamp doesn't start until 10 seconds into the tape, the date is incorrect and the time is over 1 hour out. In the second tape the date and time are also incorrect.
Before my interview I was left in the interview room alone. I could faintly hear the time stamp and this was before the tapes were switched on. It sounded like a speaking clock with a full date, time and beeps. Following my interview after the tapes were turned off I could still hear this quietly in the room.
I don't understand exactly how the time stamp works. My advocate believes the tapes have been doctored before they were sent to the typist to transcribe. Later when I demanded my tapes they put on a different timestamp as the original had been lost or destroyed. Basically a bodged job. Ideas anyone?
Not what you asked, but there are definite guidelines/procedures on how an interview should be recorded by the Police in the UK
Depending on when (which year) the interview took place there might be some differences in the actual PACE E, here is the 2010
version, maybe you need to find another appropriate version.
You can check which specific points were (possibly) not carried on correctly, besides/aside the "automatic" timestamp a particular recording device might superimpose on the tape.
Firstly thank you for your reply, there have been many problems identified with the police process and I have already been issued with an apology regarding some aspects of the way I was dealt with. More complaints are currently being investigated. It was a shocking experience altogether.
My main concern now is if my tapes have been tampered with how many times has this been done to others. I have never had any dealing with the police before this incident and it genuinely shocked me.
I cannot believe that the time stamp on an interview under caution could really be over a day out, that this would be acceptable as evidence in court. How could they ever be used if they were incorrectly time stamped is it possible that this could have just been an error? The police officer stated at the time of the interview the time and date and underneath in the background you can hear the time stamp stating a different date, and time. Also the fact it doesn't start for 10 seconds on the tape when I could actually hear it in the room.
There was actually a background audio in the room the whole time stating the date, year, time and this was continuous independently whether the tape machine was recording or not.
How is this time stamp delivered to these machines (audio triple tape recorder)and how accurate to the date and time is it?
Is it delivered externally or does the time and date have to be set on the machine?
How easy would it have been to remove the original time stamp from the tape and put on another?
There were parts of the interview missing from the tape so I know it was altered in some way regardless of the time stamp. It just makes it much easier to prove if they have altered the time stamp as well I can't personally see how they haven't.
I am sorry if my questions sound gormless I can see this is a very technical site and I would be really grateful for any help. Thanks in advance.