Reliable independent and contemporaneous police officer notes are central to the integrity of the administration of criminal justice. Police officers’ notes provide the basis for laying charges and they provide Crown Attorneys with a record upon which to base decisions regarding the prosecution of the case. Police notes also provide the accused and his or her counsel with vital information to inform decisions as to how to plead and how to conduct the defence.
A Police Officer’s notes may also be used to assist the officer in testifying at trial. When used for that purpose, it is vitally important to the reliability and integrity of the officer’s evidence that the notes used record the officer’s own independent recollection. Independent recollection is put into jeopardy when one officer simply copies the work product of another or both officers’ notes are the result of a shared recall or careful collaboration.
William Poulos, Barrister