Who’s the ringleader in this drugs crime?

This example** is in the process of being made into another case study, but you might be interested in this preview.

The issue is similar in many ways to that of the main case study. Here too, the whole prosecution case rested on a police interpretation of unintelligible utterances heard in an indistinct covert recording – backed up by some ‘circumstantial’ evidence that would never have been considered relevant without the (unjustified) police interpretation of the audio.>>   Read more now

Some examples

Here are a few examples** from my experience of egregious transcription of indistinct covert recordings that have either misled or needlessly distracted the court. Please recall I see only a tiny fraction of cases involving indistinct covert recordings.>>   Read more now

A personal history

A good beginning

My first transcription case, back in 1998, was a request from police to verify an indistinct recording was ‘untranscribable’. I went on to transcribe it in great detail, including names and details I could not have known except from the audio (because I had taken the precaution of ensuring I was given no background information before making a first attempt at independent transcription). This all seemed natural and normal to me, and of course I was happy to be able to help. I didn’t think more about it. Most of the issues seemed to be about speaker identification, and my forensic efforts (in the time left after my university teaching and research responsibilities) went into explaining common misunderstandings, especially in relation to so-called ‘voiceprints’.>>   Read more now