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NPPF Step 2 Sergeant to Inspector Exam Blog 2017 Week 12

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NPPF Step 2 Sergeant – Inspector 2016

In association with Executive Guidance Ltd

Week 12

Evidence and Procedure Chapter 6

Exclusion of Admissible Evidence

Evidence and Procedure Chapter 7

Disclosure of Evidence Exclusion of Admissible Evidence

Evidence and Procedure Chapter 9

Identification  PACE Code D


So here we go week 12, and the mid-way point in our series of articles to help you towards success in your Sergeant to Inspector exam in October.  This week, three chapters from Evidence and Procedure, starting with Chapter 6, Exclusion of Admissible Evidence.  The second chapter we look at this week is Chapter 7, Disclosure of Evidence Exclusion of Admissible Evidence, and finally Chapter 9, Identification  PACE Code D.    

You will have noticed a gap in the programme for chapter 8, which is a big chapter, both in actual size but also in importance, so I have left that to a week where it can sit all on its own, and be studied by itself.

Part 2 of Blackstone’s Evidence and Procedure is about The Law of Evidence, and opens with Chapter 6, Exclusion of Admissible Evidence, a chapter packed with all sorts of important topics. It starts with the definition of a Confession, so add that to your list of definitions to learn. It is really what you would expect it to be, with the possible addition of the words ‘whether made to a person in authority or not.’ The point about a confession not including silence is an important, but, fairly obvious one, and also one that is a good area for testing.    

The sub section on ‘The Exclusion of Confession Evidence’ is closely linked to the section on Oppression which follows it and needs to be read in tandem with that.  Blackstone’s goes into quite some detail about what will amount to Oppression.  This includes an extract from The Police and Criminal Evidence Act and some interesting stated cases. Have a good look at these.

The good book also points out to that the Oppression must be directed towards the person making the confession. I can see a good question there.   

The section on ‘What is Unreliable’ (in relation to a confession) is also well worth giving some attention to. As Blackstone’s comments, the list at all examples of what the courts have held to be circumstances where a confession was unreliable. Having said that, the list is exactly what you would have expected it to be so I would have a read and move on. There are no real surprises there so any questions there should not catch you out.

The same has to be said about the list of circumstances where evidence will be excluded. They are all obvious, and I suspect if you were working in the prosecutions unit and a probationer came up to you and said ‘My prisoner confessed to me but I forgot to write it down!’ your advice would be ‘Don’t put that into evidence, it will be excluded!’

The issue of Entrapment is highly topical right now with the issues around News International and their use of undercover reporters.  This was topical when your exam was being planned and written so make sure you have a good read and understanding of that section too.

If I were a question writer I would love to write a question about the last bullet point in the chapter around the case law Williams and O’Hare v DPP (1994) about setting up a van containing cigarettes to ’see if anyone would steal them’, so give that whole area a bit of attention.

Moving on to Chapter 8 Disclosure of Evidence, this whole chapter is a very practical one, and one that you really should have a good understanding of already. There are so many good areas to test. For example the short section about which statement to disclose if a person has made a number and only one contains anything of relevance, is an area I can see a question from.

If you are not familiar with the section or how it works this is one of those areas where a time line, or flow chart would really help put everything in sequence, and hopefully in your long term memory. Set out the various phases, and what has to happen at each stage. Then try to think about what questions you could be asked about each phase. There are only so many options the question writers have, and you could well pre-empt them.

Take some time too, to have a good look at the duties of all the different roles involved, the Investigator, Disclosure Officer, Investigators and so on. While I know the exam is not well known for being too practical, these are all good areas for your question writers.

I would definitely take some time to look at the section on ‘Material that Undermines the Prosecution Case’.  There are lots of topics in the sections that follow all of which would be a good area for a question writer.

 I could go on highlighting all the important areas in this chapter but if I am honest rather than pick out specific topics I am going to say that this whole chapter is well worth taking your time over. There are a lot of relevant areas in it, and as such you need to know them.

Remember too that Evidence and Procedure does not have its own exam and as such can pop up anywhere. This chapter lend itself well to cropping up in the crime paper so that is another good reason for really taking time to get this whole chapter back.

Our last chapter this week is another one that is a great area for your examiners to test you, Chapter 9 Identification. There are lots of different ways to conduct an identification procedure, and the best way to fully understand this chapter is to draw up a comparison chart and ask the same questions about each method of Identification. The old 5WH fits the bill really well.  How, where, who, why, what, and when. 

Identification used to be the domain of the Inspector, but the role of Identification Officer has now been given to the Custody Officer or any other officer not involved in the investigation.

I would take some time reading the keynote ‘When Must an Identification Procedure Be Held’. That section contains a lot of good topics for your question writers. Take some time out to make sure you know the law around ‘Inferences from Silence’, both Failure to Account for Presence and Inferences from Silence. On the face of it this is quite complex law, but it is easy to write questions around.  Again a time line will help you to understand how all this works.

Certainly in my old force, Surrey Police, we had a proforma that took us Identification Officers right through the process from start to finish. I am sure most forces have something similar. A really good way to get to know the law around this whole topic is to get hold of the proforma your force uses and take some time to study it.  A good one is the best time line you will ever lay your hands on.       

Top Tip

This week’s top tip follows on from last week’s tip about testing your knowledge. It is about how you read the question. I hope you are all testing your knowledge as you go along. Find yourself a web-site, and when you read the question, read the last line of the body of the question first, it will say something to say ‘What offence does JENKINS commit?’ or ‘In these circumstances which of the following statements is true?’  By doing that you read the question with the same mind set as the person who wrote it, and you will be looking for the right things as you read.

At this point I get very predictable and dull and issue my standard health warning, I am giving you some suggestions about areas to look at, sadly I know as much about what will be in your exam as you do, and that is why I am very reluctant to suggest you study only banker subjects. I know there are companies out there who boast that they can tell you want is in your exam, and I am here to tell you the only people who know what is in your exam are the team at Harrogate who wrote it, and they are not telling anyone.

I have been helping police officers pass this exam for over 30 years, either from within the job, or on a commercial basis through my company, and that has always been my mantra, study the lot. 

I regularly Tweet about the promotion exam, offering legal hints and reminders, and you can follow me @ExecutiveGuidance if you would like to. I try to make sure the Tweets reflect the subjects we are looking at each week.  Once again we have had some new followers, so thank you for join us.

We are now well into our programme of study and as of today there are 106 days to go until your exam on the 3rd October 2017.  You will be amazed just how fast those days fly by, so stick with the programme.

Here at Executive Guidance we have been helping Police Officers pass their exams for a long time successfully training both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Promotion Exam, as well as running Crammer weekends for National Investigation exam candidates.

We have already booked the venue for our weekend Crammer Courses for the run up to the exam in October. They are booked to take place on the two weekends immediately before your big day on the 30th September and 1st of October 2017 as well as on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September 2017. 

If you want to save a place, please make sure you contact the Executive Guidance Office and book one now.  Please use this link.  

We limit numbers to make sure you get the chance to ask questions, and if there are specific chapters that you want us to cover, where ever possible we will include them in our weekend.  So if you are thinking about coming on one of them please make sure you book a place. They will sell out fast.  You can save your place by contacting us atNPPFExam@executiveguidance.co.uk

I know right now your exam feels miles and miles away, but if you think there are 53 chapters to learn, plus four weeks of revision, that comes down to a total of 157 days from now until you face the paper.  That works out about three days average per chapter.  Now you know why we think a full 24 week study is needed to gain this qualification.    


Motivational Quote

This week’s quote is from John F Kennedy and he said

If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Let’s make it you, and let’s make it this year. 

See you next week.

Phil Waters

©Executive Guidance Ltd. 2017







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