Investigations

Due process does not equate to painting by numbers. We bring to the task experience and expertise that enables us to take a faster and more direct route to determining what happened, who did it, how, why, where and when.”

Since 2001, Stopline have conducted many investigations and frequently identify unnecessary errors by managers or supervisors who have been confronted with allegations of dishonesty, bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct or have been tasked with investigating such allegations. Many avoidable errors contributed to further complications, complaints and stress to all involved.

In our view, there is only one correct way to conduct an investigation; by transparently following due process. The more effectively and demonstrably that is done, the greater the odds of a quick resolution. It becomes even more critical if the matter escalates to civil or criminal proceedings, or becomes a wider workplace issue.

When misconduct or an offence take place, Stopline’s investigation services can ascertain the chain of events and assist in protecting your people and organisation from further harm. Wherever possible, we help to reverse any damage that has been caused. A major component of our service is to give you complete confidence in the outcome of the investigation. You can take the right steps, with authority, knowing that both the impartiality of the investigators and the integrity of the process will withstand the toughest scrutiny. However, due process does not equate to painting by numbers. We bring to the task experience and expertise that enables us to take a faster and more direct route to determining what happened, who did it, how, why, where and when.

The Stopline investigation team is highly effective and extremely experienced – many of whom had long careers in law enforcement – have the skills to rapidly-unearth information, establish the connections between people and events, gather supporting evidence from multiple angles and layers, decipher what is factual and what is not, and document the findings. Frequently, we can also provide guidance on how to prevent or minimise future risk. Our investigations services cover both internal and external threats and generally slot into two categories:

1: Offences against the organisation

We undertake investigations into issues such as fraud, theft of intellectual property, selling or sharing trade secrets, collusion with third parties to secure contracts or to bring about unlawful influence.

We also conduct investigations into physical damage to the organisation, such as harm to property, breaking and entry, tampering, and theft of goods, equipment and documents. We can assess and make recommendations on the effectiveness and compliance of security assets, such as CCTV monitoring, storage of records, locks, access, lighting, and physical safety barriers.

2Offences against the people

This is inevitably the most sensitive area of investigations. Emotions can run high for those who are victims of misconduct, those who are accused of it and those who are responsible for people’s safety and well being. This holds particularly true when investigating issues such as bullying, harassment, damage to personal property, physical intimidation and assault. We bring the skills and acumen to conduct investigations delicately, but without compromise. We can provide guidance on both statutory compliance and risk minimisation, including reviewing policies and procedures against industry best practice. We can also advise you to what extent people are aware of their obligations and the degree to which these are adhered to. Our conclusions can be documented in formal reports or through informal discussions and consultation with you.

Some Basic Rules should be considered before embarking upon any investigation:

DOs

  • Do have an organisational complaint handling system with clear guidelines.
  • Do treat all complaints confidentially.
  • Do seek early independent advice from a trusted and experienced source if your own investigative experience or knowledge is lacking.

DONTS

  • Natural justice does not mean you are required to immediately inform a person that a complaint has been made against them. It means that a person is entitled to respond before a decision is made as to the truth or otherwise of any allegations. You should be satisfied there is sufficient evidence to put to a person accused of misconduct. Natural justice and procedural fairness is required for all complaint investigations to ensure the findings and any sanctions are based on fair and objective decisions.
  • Do not panic when receiving a complaint, consider the information carefully and identify exactly what is being alleged.
Key features and services
Key features and services
  • Awareness training
  • Breaches by competitors and third parties
  • Breaches, tampering and criminal activity by employees
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Expert reports
  • Expert witness
  • Financial and corporate investigations
  • Fraud and misconduct investigations
  • Forensic IT
  • Litigation support
  • Response to ransom ware (including data recovery options)
  • Review of internal processes
  • Sabotage
  • Search & Seizure through the legislative framework and the Courts
  • Supplementing internal resources
  • Theft and dishonesty offences
  • Vulnerability assessments

Depending on the nature of the allegations, in many instances expert advice will be required, particularly in matters involving computers, financial fraud or potential serious criminal matters.

Our senior team of investigators will provide you with expert opinion about your matter and deliver the evidence in an expert report. Our investigation team all have prior experience in giving expert evidence in Court.

FREE – A no obligation discussion or meeting to assist you address critical issues of your investigation.

Call Stopline on 03 9882 4550 or 0487 333 099 or email your details to andrewmcleish@stopline.com.au