Drugs Expert Witness

West Midlands Police

Grade: Band D Lower
Salary: £29,793 – £36,369
Closing Date: 15th April 2021

About the role:
To provide drug expert witness evidence to progress complex serious and organised crime investigations.  Undertake drug evaluation, interpretation and opinion to investigating officers. Trawling large quantities of acquired data and providing text interpretation expert witness evidence on involvement in drugs supply.  Providing force departments and partner agencies with a focused, directed and co-ordinated approach. To provide evidential reports for the purpose of presenting evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the courts.
Key Responsibilities

Provide Expert Witness Evidence, Drug Evaluation and Interpretation statements for the purposes of investigation, intelligence and case progression through to trial at court.
Provide objective, independent and unbiased based testimony at Court in the capacity as an Expert Witness as and when required.
Provide advice, support and guidance to officers/colleagues on managing offences and investigations involving drugs.
Manage any forensic exhibits to ensure continuity, confidentiality and security is maintained at all times.
To provide identification, valuation, weight and commentary in relation to seizures of controlled drugs in the absence of laboratory availability, for investigations meeting “urgent” criteria (remand in custody cases).
Attend relevant training courses that assist development in respect of Expert witness provision and maintain your own CPD portfolio. Actively manage case workload through the use of the internal Forensic Case Management system and to work independently with minimal supervision.
To be aware of responsibilities and comply with all relevant policies, procedures and legislation pertaining to Expert Witnesses.
To attend case reviews with other relevant parties to evaluate, recognise good practice and identify areas for improving service delivery.
To ensure compliance with Force Policy on Equality and Diversity matters and ensure that all best practices in criminal investigations are utilised.
To handle cannabis both in its raw (plant) and prepared (dried) state in order to be able to identify and strip cannabis plants as and when necessary in compliance with home office guidelines.

Experience
Essentials

Possess an in-depth understanding of controlled drugs and relevant legislation.
Understand Serious and Organised Criminality and threat to UK.
In depth understand of the drugs market and supply.
Knowledge of drugs market trends.
Knowledge and previous experience of drugs investigations
Previous experience of preparing and presenting evidence in court.

Desirable

Should already have attended a recognised Drug Expert Evidence course or be willing  to complete a recognised course
Working knowledge of drugs classification, valuation  and mobile device extraction and interpretation
Possess an understanding of the current legislation in respect of an Expert witness
An understanding of criminal legislation including Codes of Practice, Data Protection and the rules of evidence.
A member of the Drugs Expert Witness and Valuers Association (DEWVA), and to abide by their rules and constitution.

Skills:
Essential

Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a wider team of Drugs Expert Witnesses.
Work independently with limited supervision.
Possess excellent communication skills (both verbal and written).
Demonstrate a planned and organised approach to achieving objectives, defining clear timescales and outcomes while managing competing priorities.
The ability to travel throughout the West Midlands region and further if required to do so for operational needs, training and court appearances.
Ability to assist with the management of team workload in absence of Drug Expert Witness & Ballistics Team Manager
Desirable

Be conversant with Microsoft Office and have excellent computer literacy skills.
Hold a full UK Driving Licence
Staff within the Drug Expert Witness Team and the WMP Forensic Services Department
All employees of West Midlands Police concerning Drug related enquires.
National Drug Expert Witness Teams, Forensic Suppliers, Police Forces and other external agencies via written and verbal communication.
Liaison with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), barristers and other judicial members.
Maintain written/verbal contact with any external providers/suppliers.
Internal and External Contact

Staff within the Drug Expert Witness Team and the WMP Forensic Services Department
All employees of West Midlands Police concerning Drug related enquires.
National Drug Expert Witness Teams, Forensic Suppliers, Police Forces and other external agencies via written and verbal communication.
Liaison with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), barristers and other judicial members.
Maintain written/verbal contact with any external providers/suppliers.
Special Conditions

The post holder will be required to work Monday to Friday and weekends. Working flexibly between hours of 8am and 8pm, including bank holidays and on occasions outside of core shift hours
There may be a requirement to work at different police stations within West Midlands Police as well as the opportunity to agile work

Direct Report

Drug Expert Witness & Ballistics Team Manager
Identification Manager
Appointment to this role will be dependent upon successfully passing vetting and medical checks, which may include a drugs test and if required a fitness test.

West Midlands Police are currently undertaking a long term review of staff pay and conditions.  The grade, pay and other terms of employment are therefore subject to review and may change in the future.

West Midlands Police is a Disability Confident Leader – the highest level an organisation can achieve under the scheme run by the Department of Work and Pensions.  As part of our commitment we operate a ‘Disability Confident Interview Scheme’ – all candidates who declare a disability and meet the essential criteria for the role will be offered an interview.

It is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practicable or appropriate to interview all disabled people who meet the essential criteria for the job. For example: in certain recruitment situations such as high-volume, seasonal and high-peak times, the employer may wish to limit the overall numbers of interviews offered to both disabled people and non-disabled people. In these circumstances, the employer could select the candidates who best meet the essential criteria for the job, as they would do for non-disabled applicants.

“Diversity and Inclusion Vision:  Maximise the potential of people from all backgrounds through a culture of fairness and inclusion to deliver the best service for our communities”

To apply for this job please visit wmp.referrals.selectminds.com.


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