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SIO Corner: TIE Interviews And MIRSAP Eliminations

This week we continue to look at issues relating to TIE (Trace/Interview/Eliminate) and the use of MIRSAP eliminations

In this series we 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).

Mode Of TIE Interview

The method of TIE interview is important and must be stipulated by the SIO. Depending on the nature of the enquiry, the SIO may wish to stipulate that all TIEs are visually recorded, audiotape recorded, or contemporaneously recorded on notes signed later by the subject, in order to safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the process. This is important as TIE subjects can turn into either suspects or witnesses.

The SIO should also set a ‘refusal policy’ to provide guidance in the event of a refusal by TIE subjects to provide information, samples, and details.

For example:

1. Ask and note reason for refusal.
2. Ascertain whether DNA/fingerprints/photograph already held by the police.
3. If previously obtained, ascertain level of verification of identity.
4. Create intelligence database entry—request to obtain photo/fingerprints/DNA and cross-reference with action number.
5. Consider possible grounds for search warrant/further action.

MIRSAP Elimination Criteria

Based upon the information obtained from the TIE methods mentioned earlier, on conclusion of each individual TIE action MIRSAP standard elimination codes 1–6 will be recorded against
each subject’s nominal record on HOLMES2 in order that an assessment of the level of elimination is available for reference purposes. Care must be taken to ensure these are completed correctly.

These categories are:

1. forensic elimination;
2. description;
3. independent alibi witness;
4. associate or relative alibi;
5. spouse/partner or common-law relationship alibi;
6. not eliminated.

Investigators, incident room staff, and managers must determine from the action report what level of elimination from the list applies. The important point about this criterion is that these markers can be changed depending on new information if it becomes available, for example an associate changes their initial alibi account or it is disproved.

Prioritizing TIEs

When there are a large number of TIE subjects there will be a necessity to prioritize them. In order to do this and ensure the most significant and relevant TIEs are conducted before the less important ones, they may need to be put into order by prioritization.

This can be based upon such criteria as age range, gender, or proximity to the scene. For example, it may be that males of a certain age are more significant if the profile of the offender is believed to be that of a male. This will make them easier to manage.

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.

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

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