The value of being a Witness
Independent witness? Please intervene, help, stop and give your details!!
Having been in the world of investigation for over 15 years now, I like many of my peers would never undervalue a witness, particularly one that we refer to as independent or impartial. I ‘witnessed’ (excuse the pun) first hand recently how crucial a witness can become.
Fortunately the experiences I have gained from a police career and now in the private sector of investigation are rarely used directly in my private life………………until last week.
A sunny Friday before a weekend with a big social event and my wife informs me that I desperately need a haircut. Heading off to Cheshire for meetings I quickly devised a plan to stop at the local barbers in my old village. Parking up outside in a marked bay I went in to have the grey locks shorn.
After about half an hour (there were a lot of locks to be shorn), a man who I have never seen before walked in and said, “Does anyone own a BMW parked outside the butchers?” My heart sank at this point as I could not see any positive coming out of admitting ownership but I timidly raised my voice to say it was mine. “I’m really sorry mate, but a lorry has just taken the back end out and driven off………..”…………heart sinking a little further……….. “But………… I did manage to get the number plate for you.”
I am not going to be dishonest and say I leapt for joy, but with my expert knowledge professionally of the system, I knew the golden value of those words this male muttered and I allowed myself a broad smile and praised this male with a huge thanks.
The information that this male was able to provide in a witness statement enabled the police and insurance company to trace a driver who initially denied knowledge. This denial very quickly changed when he was informed that we had an independent witness statement who was prepared to attend court. The case is now completed with no financial outlay from myself.
I have heard on numerous occasions professionally and from friends and family, “Oh, I could not be bothered to get involved…..”; “Someone else will help……….”; …..“It is not my problem…..”
Unfortunately these are not always the case. I am just very grateful for this male taking the time and trouble to ignore all the above comments and do the right thing, a valuable lesson.