Police ProcedureGraham Maranda on Police Procedure

One of the most challenging tasks for crime and mystery writers is getting the police procedure right. This column is all about helping you to find out the information you need to know. 

Graham Maranda has years of experience to bring to his regular column for crime and mystery authors, with advice about police procedure and an insider's view of criminal activity. You'll find that basic police procedure is similar all over the world. The rules can vary from state to state, so make sure you understand the basic processes, then check the local procedure for your novel's setting.

  • Crime Scenes
    Who examines a crime scene? Which officers attend? Who is 'who' at a crime scene? What generally happens at a crime scene? What is a crime scene? Who is allowed into the crime scene?
  • Murder Crime Scenes
    What does a police officer have to think about at a crime scene - say, where the body lies on the steps in front of an open door? Find out what happens at a murder crime scene.
  • Search Warrants Part 1
    What is a Search Warrant? It is a legal document generally issued by a court of law following application by investigating police to search particular premises for particular evidence...
  • Search Warrants Part 2
    Part 2 of the Search Warrants article covers such things as service of the occupier's notice, hours of execution, announcing your presence before entry, the informant, police characters, and false or misleading information...
  • Right to Silence
    Writing a story with cops and robbers? Does part of your plot involve questioning, arresting and / or interviewing someone? Let me try to put some clarity to the fundamental matters involved in a person's right to silence.
  • Electronic Surveillance
    Before you go creating a telephone intercept scene, be aware that interception is only authorised where the offence being investigated falls within the definition of 'Serious Offence'. So, what types of offences are considered serious at law?
  • Characters in a Police Procedural Novel
    Writers often experience difficulties in finding out the information they need to know about police procedure. Here is some basic information about general characters and scenarios in a police procedural novel.
  • General Duties Police
    This formal break-down provides a clear overview of what front line policing entails. I suggest these inherent requirements are consistent for all front line Australian police.
  • Police Officers and Second Jobs
    Like many other people in the community, police officers sometimes have second (and even third) jobs. Is this officially sanctioned? What kinds of jobs are police officers or ex-police officers likely to take up? Graham Maranda gives us some insights into this interesting question...


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