Investigating officers must, therefore, develop clear intelligence-led objectives for identifying witnesses.
These will depend on the circumstances of the case but should include identifying settings and communities where witnesses are likely to be found.
The detection of a large proportion of offences can be attributed to information, intelligence and evidence provided by the public.
In cases of physical or sexual assault, the investigator has an early opportunity to obtain forensic material from the victim or their clothing, and potentially other witnesses.
This material may include body fluids or other cellular or fibre transfers.
Communities may be cultural, religious, sporting, occupational, clubs, associations or societies.
Resources can then be directed towards identifying witnesses.
Methods for identifying and locating witnesses: The manner in which investigators approach witnesses, from the point of initial contact, during interviews and through to the conclusion of any subsequent prosecution case, can have a significant bearing on their perceptions of how the criminal justice system operates.