Professional Polygraph Tests (lie detectors) By OSS Technology
OSS Technology are proud to commence offering two new services to the general public with the first being Professional Polygraph Tests or more commonly referred to as “lie detector tests” to be shortly followed by our second new service Professional Counter Surveillance Sweeps or more commonly referred to as bug detectors. For those of you who may be a small business, a large corporate company or an individual wishing to finally settle unsolved frustration, our services offer a unique approach by our highly skilled and experienced team you simply will not find in “Yellow Pages” or Internet search engines. Our team do not need to advertise, word of mouth is the most powerful advertising tool.
He is a recently retired Detective Sergeant and highly trained polygraph operator. In 2004 he was trained as a Forensic Polygraph Examiner at the Canadian Police College, Ottawa by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He is the only UK based private polygraph trained by an official Government School (the Canadian Police College is the national police training academy for senior management and specialist training for all of Canada). He has experience in criminal testing of suspects as well as experience in vetting testing. He is a member of the American Polygraph Association and the Canadian Association of Police Polygraphists.
What is a Polygraph? The truth and how it works.
Polygraph, commonly called a lie detector, but more accurately described as a truth verifier, has some utility in assisting clients in establishing veracity prior to making operational decisions. It should only ever be used as an adjunct to a proper investigation and not seen as an infallible scientific method. It has limitations and is not 100% accurate (but neither are nearly all other diagnostic and screening tools).
The polygraph measures a person’s physiological response to the threat of being found telling a lie. Knowingly telling a lie creates a response in the sympathetic nervous system over which the individual has no conscious control. This response causes changes in heart rate, sweating and breathing patterns. The polygraph detects these changes. Measurement of these allows the operator to come to an opinion of truthfulness to the question or otherwise. The skill of the polygraph operator lies in measuring the reaction and the scoring of the results to render an opinion.
The polygraph can be used in a number of settings. Its most accurate use is as an assessment of a ‘single issue’. This is where there is one unambiguous fact to be established, such as did you steal the money out of the safe last Friday? This has accuracy rates well in excess of 90% in US studies. Different styles of tests to establish the veracity of up to three different issues can be administered. In addition a ‘guilty knowledge test’ can be administered where there is a fact that would only be known to the perpetrator. The polygraph can also be used as an addition to the pre-employment screening process.
The fact to be tested must be physical or have actually happened. The question needs to be unambiguous. Opinions or intentions to the future cannot be tested. The subject must be suitable to test both medically and psychologically. Test conditions are ideally in a smallish room with no external distractions. The subject needs to be aware that a test is to take place sometime before the event. They must attend voluntarily. There must be an element of jeopardy in the issue, passing or failing has to have some meaning. The test should be video and audio taped. The subject will always be told the questions to be asked and discuss them with the operator, there are no ‘surprises’. The polygraph operator will advise on all these issues and it is essential that the operator and the client have a full consultation prior to commissioning a test. To this end there will be an initial charged consultation to assess whether there is a testable issue, and if there is, to establish what is to be tested. Only after this stage will a test be conducted.
The polygraph is an elimination tool. It is there to assist the truthful demonstrate their veracity. The polygraph will add further management reassurance to decisions being made. It is an addition to the other tools in the investigator’s armory, but should never be a substitute for proper and diligent investigation.
Polygraph allows potential to act as an additional tool in establishing veracity to a set situation or statement. This could either be in establishing who has not committed a criminal act (single issue criminal test) through to verifying antecedent details (vetting test). Polygraph should not be seen as a replacement for proper investigations or screening interviews but as an additional tool to give increased management reassurance around decisions.
OSS Technology – Leaders in world surveillance products and services.
OSS Technology can provide a specialised service to industry in investigations and polygraph. The polygraph is not a widely used official technique at the present time in the UK, except in a small trial at the Ministry of Justice for Post Conviction Sex Offenders. Forensic Polygraphy is different from that in a number of respects, but the ultimate aim is the same, to establish that the subject is telling the truth. The technique is widely accepted internationally, from many South American countries to South Africa to the UAE to Malaysia and many other countries, many of which have government schemes.
A case example.
An example of a criminal test would be where there is a theft from an office (for instance a safe where everyone in the office knows the combination and forensically their DNA and fingerprints are in the safe legitimately) where there are a number of suspects; all of whom deny involvement and where the evidence is not positive enough to advance the case any further. The company still has the issue that there is a thief amongst the staff. The solutions include sacking all of them, moving them (including the thief) to other duties or introducing new management rules in an effort to reduce opportunities which are deleterious to the overall efficiency of the unit. All of these have the effect of reducing the feeling of trust between the workers and the company resulting in some of the, probably innocent, workers leaving. Generally the office/unit will be disrupted and become less efficient. The polygraph can only be administered to a person who voluntarily subjects themselves to the process (in this way the Belgian Federal Police have satisfied the Belgian courts that they are European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) compliant).
Generally, the only volunteers will be individuals who have not committed the offence and are desperate to demonstrate their innocence and worth to the company. The guilty generally only volunteer through arrogance or because they are the only ones left who have not volunteered. In the experience of the examiner, many guilty individuals will then either confess at an early stage in the process or offer their resignation or leave. The polygraph therefore allows the innocent to eliminate themselves from the enquiry in a cost effective way. It allows the investigator to reorder the list of suspects and concentrate resources more efficiently and effectively. It is cost effective, by directing the investigation to those most likely to have committed the offence, unnecessary time and money is not spent on researching the innocent. Secondly, those found to not be involved are able to resume their normal lives without the cloud of suspicion over them. This can have a settling effect on the staff because they know that if they are innocent, then they will be shown to be innocent, a very powerful incentive. This is obviously a simple example, but gives an idea of the use it can be to investigations.
The polygraph has its limitations, despite the claims of some television game shows and other practitioners, and should not be seen as the answer to all intractable investigations. Some subjects are medically or psychologically unsuitable to test. The questions that are presented must be unambiguous and require yes or no answers, surprisingly difficult in practice. It is best suited to physical acts, and a belief cannot be tested (for instance, are you a racist, as the definition will subjectively vary from person to person. A better question would be, did you attend the meeting of (racist organisation) last Friday). It cannot be used as a means of presenting a string of questions and the maximum test recommended by this practitioner is three test issues. Statistically the polygraph is most accurate when there is one issue (did you steal the money from the safe). It does not have any weight as evidence in criminal cases in the UK.
If you feel our Polygraph services can be of an aid to help settle disputes within your personal, domestic or business situations then please do not hesitiate to contact us for a quotation based on your requirements. OSS Technology operates a worldwide service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.