Whilst colleagues were getting wet earlier in the week, I spent a delightful afternoon gathering evidence about a fraud. Not the kind of Ebay/Paypal/419 type of fraud which is never going anywhere, but the kind of 4-figure, straightforward-but-not-too-easy kind of fraud I like.
Apart from myself and the finance manager there was also a secretary in the wood-panelled office taking notes. All the telephone calls that came in were diverted to answerphone, and I was served tea in a company mug. I asked for a number of things: copies of agreements signed by the offender, details of a couple of other staff members, relevant bank details, that kind of thing.
After a couple of hours I had a reasonably firm chain of evidence and a list of four things I still needed before I would be able to arrest the offender. We resolved to do the remaining enquiries via email: they would scan copies of documents to me, and I would email prepared statements to the staff members who worked elsewhere in the country.
It's taken only a few hours to gather all the evidence and the relatively basic technology (email, a scanner and a computer) I've used has saved hours of travelling time, missed appointments and general aggravation. I've given a very professional service having arrived at the appointed time, wearing a tie. I've informed the MD that I will email him in a couple of weeks when the offender has been arrested.
It makes a refreshing change to actually have a case that will require a bit more than me asking, "Did you do it?" and the suspect saying, "No I didn't."
I've also picked up a shoplifting job where the suspect has stolen meat from a local store. The staff tells me he's a regular and the CCTV is quite good, so I've taken to waiting round the corner and when he tries it again I'll surprise him by pushing him off his bike.