The role of the criminal investigation process

The role of the criminal investigation process is to balance the rights of the victims and offenders in society. All individuals’ wether victim, offender or member of society have basic rights to which the law attempts to adhere to. While all are individual, the rights will differ for the purpose of maintaining a balance in society. Though upholding the rights of the people is essential in order to ensure that the investigation process is conducted correctly and without abuse. In a criminal investigation case, a victim is usually seeking justice for an offence against them personally.

Victims can be involved in the criminal trial in a number of ways, from reporting a crime and assisting police in testifying at a trial as a witness impact statement. However in certain cases a victim can be of significant value in the criminal investigation process as they may be the only witness to the crime.

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The victim also has the right to maintain their dignity and to be protected from the accused as they may have access to certain information that may be otherwise confidential. The victims’ rights are outlined in the victims’ rights act 1996.

Victims also have to right to a victim impact statement, being a voluntary statement written by the victim about the impact of the crime had on them. Although this is only allowed in serious offences and to ensure fairness in particular highly sensitive cases the judge may not allow a victim impact statement, on the grounds to assuring that the emotional content does not persuade the jury and result in a bias verdict. (Case) In NSW, crimes will be investigated by the NSW police force, as they play an important role in the criminal investigation process.

The police force is given special legal powers enabling them to carry out their duties effectively. The majority of these powers are found in the law and enforcement (powers and responsibilities) act 2002 permitting them to investigate crimes, make arrests, interrogate suspects and gather evidence against the accused. The NSW police force also follows a specific code of behaviour called the code of practice for CRIME (custody, rights, investigation, management and evidence) which sets out the rights of the

suspect and the manner in which the investigation should be carried out, it also includes that all citizens must be treated fairly regardless of race, religion, ethnic background and sex. Police are not allowed to detain a person unless they have good reason to do so, if enough evidence and a warrant is issued the police may arrest someone for the crime they are investigating. The accused will be held in police custody for questioning, this is known as interrogation. At the end of the detention period the police will make a decision whether the suspect will attend a court hearing or be released unconditionally.

If the accused believes that this procedure has not been adhered to appropriately they have the right to report their opinion through a complaints procedure overseen by the NSW ombudsmen and the police integrity commission. (Case) Society have an important role to play in the criminal justice system by being actively encouraged by community programs to report information about criminal activity. Crimes will usually be reported by a person who has knowledge of the crime, or has witnessed the crime.

Citizens have the right to actively participate in the identification of a crime and exercise their right to live in a safe and secured environment. The member of society also has the right to remain anonymous during the criminal investigation process in order to protect their individual security. Citizens can exercise this right directly through the police or through a community program such as crime stoppers. The Australian law defines a victim as someone who has been attacked, murdered, robbed, deceived or cheated.

Victims can be involved in a criminal trial process in a number of ways from reporting a crime and assisting police through to testifying at as a witness and submitting a victim impact statement. In NSW, victims of crime are recognised and guaranteed certain rights under the Victims rights act 1996. The Act contain a charter of victims’ rights which requires among a number of things, respect for a victims dignity, victims compensation, protection from the accused, protection of identity and certain rights to information and assistance during the criminal process.

A victim impact statement is a voluntary statement written by the victim about the impact the crime has had on them. It allows the victim an opportunity to participate in the process by letting the court know how the crime has affected them. The statements are only permitted for serious offences involving violence, death of or any physical harm to a person and only if the court approves of it. Victim impact statements can be controversial because they can be very subjective yet have significant effect on sentencing.

Supporters argues that they provide an important opportunity for victims to express themselves in the criminal process. – case The area of the criminal process trial that are critiqued by society are the right of police powers against the rights of the suspect. The role of the police in the criminal investigation process is to investigate crimes, make arrests, interrogate suspects and gather evidence against the accused. The police will then present the evidence for judgement to a court on the behalf of the state.

The NSW criminal trial process states that the accused has the right to a fair trial as it is stated in the crimes act of 1900 ( matt) supported by strict rules of evidence and procedure is fundamental to the criminal justice system and the balancing act between offenders and society. This justice is also used by judges when sentencing as it is reflected in the bail process, determining whether the accused should be released on bail or remain in custody until their trial…. Explain and act. – need legislation and case

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