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The UK Post Office Horizon IT Scandal: A Case Study in Investigative Failures

Presented by Mark Heffer at the Regulatory Investigations Conference 2024

1 General CPD Hour
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About this course

In this talk, Mark Heffer details the UK Post Office Horizon IT scandal, where faulty software led to wrongful prosecutions of postmasters. Lacking proper digital forensics and marked by unethical practices, the scandal caused devastating personal and financial consequences, ultimately revealing severe regulatory failures and prompting calls for systemic reforms.

Course Syllabus

The UK Post Office Horizon IT scandal involved significant miscarriages of justice due to the flawed Horizon software. Mark Heffer, an investigative expert, outlines the scandal where Horizon, a system introduced by Fujitsu to modernize post offices, wrongly indicated financial discrepancies. These errors led to accusations of theft and fraud against numerous postmasters and postmistresses from 1999 to 2015. The Post Office aggressively prosecuted staff, often with no concrete evidence, leading to devastating personal and financial consequences, including wrongful convictions, ruined livelihoods, and even suicides.

Despite clear evidence of the software’s faults, the Post Office and involved legal teams suppressed critical information. Investigations lacked proper digital forensic analysis and were marred by unethical practices, including incentivizing investigators to secure convictions. The scandal eventually gained media attention, notably through journalist Nick Wallace, leading to the reversal of approximately 95 wrongful convictions by 2019.

The inquiry into the scandal exposed severe regulatory and procedural failures, with calls for greater scrutiny and ethical standards in investigations. The scandal has damaged the Post Office’s reputation, and ongoing inquiries aim to ensure accountability and reform to prevent such injustices in the future.

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Register below for on-demand access:

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31/12/2024 00:00 - 00:00

On-Demand Webinar €39.00 299

Meet the speaker – Mark Heffer

Investigative Interviewing Consultant

Mark Heffer is a highly experienced Investigative Interviewing trainer with over 30 years’ experience gained in Serious and Organised Crime investigation and Anti-Money Laundering training.

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