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SIO Corner: The Incident Room

Any good detective will know that if the Incident room works well the job will progress so let's spend some time on MISRAP

|STARTHTML|In this series we will look at various aspects of life as an SIO. This includes the necessary skill sets for the successful SIO, the management of serious crime investigation and specific elements of investigative practice from initial response through crime scene examination and investigative strategies to dealing with suspects and the media. The articles are excerpts from the 2nd edition of Blackstone's, the 'Senior Investigating Officers' Handbook', written by two highly experienced SIOs (see 'About the Authors' at the end of the article).|ENDHTML|

The Major Incident Room Standardized Administrative Procedures, or MIRSAP, manual (NCPE (2005), 18–20) outlines roles and responsibilities of the SIO relating to the functions of the Major Incident Room (MIR). These have been standardized to ensure that in linked or series cases there are standard practices across forces. These include the following.

|STARTHTML|Checklist-MIRSAP requirements|ENDHTML|

• Responsibility for the investigation of the crime, which includes ensuring, in liaison with other senior officers as necessary, that an incident room with appropriate resources is set up.
• Regular assessment of work levels to maintain appropriate staffing to process documentation at all stages of the enquiry.
• In consultation with the management team, agreeing time scales for review and progress of actions and documents (ie priorities, allocation, and referral). Actions should be reviewed at regular intervals together with the office manager and action manager to decide whether they should remain as referred, or be allocated or filed.
• Logging all decisions in a policy file against signature.
• Reading and making decisions as to the filing of all documents.
• Determining and communicating current lines of enquiry, TIE parameters, SOE (sequence of events) parameters, scene(s) parameters, house-to-house (H-2-H) parameters, personal descriptive form (PDF) completion parameters, unidentified nominal and unidentified vehicle policy, other relevant investigative strategies, eg forensic, media.
• Briefing and debriefing of all staff (including hot-debriefs within first 24 hours of the investigation).
• Ensuring early engagement of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and counsel where necessary.
• In line with the National Intelligence Model (NIM), ensure there is an ongoing process to review accrued covert material with a view to further dissemination and sanitization. This information is to be placed in force intelligence systems in a timely manner.

Next week we'll have a look at performing the role of the SIO, including preparation, stress, resilience and time management.

|STARTHTML|About the Authors: Detective Superintendent Tony Cook was a CID officer with Greater Manchester Police for over 31 years until his retirement in 2009. During his time as an SIO, he led a number of high profile investigations including operations into gangland violence at Moss Side, the Bolton murder of a teenage girl in 2002, and the Denton strangling case. He was a trained assessor for promotion and a qualified Authorising Officer under RIPA. Tony received 14 commendations and a first-class BSc Honours degree in social sciences and a Diploma in Social Policy & Criminology from the Open University. Andy Tattersall, formerly Detective Superintendent in Greater Manchester Police on the Force Major Incident Team, retired in 2007 after 33 years service and became the first ever Support Staff SIO in charge of a new Homicide Support Unit. With over 29 years in CID at all ranks Andy received the Homicide Working Group National Award for his Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Homicide in November 2006.|ENDHTML|

To see more details about the Senior Investigating Officers' Handbook, or to purchase a copy, click here

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