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Timeliness

It is important that complaints investigations are completed in a timely manner. Protracted delays in internal investigations have significant costs for complainants, complainees, and for the police organization itself—both in terms of resources and the likelihood of a reasonable and just outcome (Prenzler and Lewis 2005). This occurs, for example, when witnesses cannot be contacted because they have changed their place of residence/work, and their memories become even less reliable when investigations drag on for lengthy periods. Investigations need to be completed within reasonable and agreed upon time frames, and any extensions need to be justified. The aforementioned study of officers in Victoria Police revealed that whereas complaints investigations were unduly protracted the main problem was not the investigation per se but rather the bureaucratic processes prior to and subsequent to the actual investigation (Miller et al. 2008).

Professional Approach to Presentation

It is of fundamental importance for an investigator to make an evidence-based recommendation, but it is also of great importance that the evidence be presented in a logical and luminous manner. More generally, investigative reports, plans, correspondence, and so on need to be presented clearly, concisely, and completely. Audits of investigators’ reports, or complaints files as a whole, in relation to completeness are relevant performance indicators here.

 
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