Starting the written statement process
Before you ever obtain a written statement, you must consider a careful setup to encourage this important step. A perfect starting point begins with detailed notes during the interview that establish what was admitted to by the individual. This should establish the elements of the crime or policy violation and may provide additional value in detailing that a lie is told so that later it can be disproved through the investigation.
Another important aspect of the setup of the written statement and to encourage cooperation is to minimise the seriousness of what is happening — we’re about to take the written statement, which may sound something like this. “What I’d like to do now is give you an opportunity to provide a written explanation of what happened…”
In preparation, they may respond, “Why do I need to write anything down? I’ve already told you everything…”, to which a reasonable response might be, “Yes, but you’ve also told me that you felt bad, and that it will never happen again. I think it’s also important that they hear in your own words. We also don’t want them to think that you’re responsible for all of the other losses that have occurred…”.
It’s at this point that you give them the pen and paper, and manage the written statement.
by Chris Norris, CFI