The golden rule of keeping records

Why keeping records is the golden rule

ONRECORD is about keeping records because keeping records is the golden rule of gathering evidence, and key to getting help to sort out serious issues. If you have an ongoing problem and need it to be addressed properly, your best means of achieving success is through keeping records.

Don’t whatever you do think that it’s a job for someone else to do. They can’t do it as well as you because they weren’t there, didn’t experience it and cannot know the details or the impact of it in the way you do. By making your own records at the time events happen you are giving yourself the best chance of success provided you put in the kind of detail ONRECORD helps you to do. Don’t rely on the police to do it for you (if you saw some statements written by police officers you’d be shocked). If you’re relying on a lawyer, remember that if you go to an appointment without records you’ll be relying on your memory to tell them, long after the event, what happened.  That makes your recollection easy to challenge by your opponent if you end up in court being cross examined. Plus if you’re sitting in an appointment with a lawyer who is trying to get the relevant information out of you and into written notes, it is time consuming and costly. Use lawyers for getting advice and knowing the law, not for doing your housekeeping for you! 

How technology has modernised keeping records

ONRECORD helps you follow the golden rule of keeping records by guiding you through a reliable process of record keeping. The app prompts you to record the right information.  It helps you to back up your written (or dictated) record with supporting evidence such as a photo, video, audio recording, screenshot or document and links it to your record.  It will automatically set the date and time you upload your record. It prompts you to rate the impact of the event so that you can easily find the most important events that have occurred.  You can automatically record the location of events and see them laid out on the map.  Although your evidence is protected by not being altered once it is uploaded, you can add as many amendments as you like of you get new information or need to make a correction. Your records are automatically organised by date order for you, turning it into a chronology you can download when you need it. You can now also share your records online with a professional or with anyone supporting you such as friends and family so they can see how you are getting on immediately.  Your lawyer, the police or any court or tribunal hearing the judge, magistrates, or other decision maker will be looking to see if there’s anything amongst all the evidence which backs up what you’re saying and which they can deem to be credible. The more support there is for what you say the better. 

Using all these benefits of the new technology in this way makes it much more powerful and flexible than a simple written account of something that happened.  Having a picture (or a document) linked to your record adds hugely to its impact and having the automatic date, time and location proves how soon after the event you made the record. This helps you prove it was fresh in your mind and can also show where you were and when (if you stay where the event happened and upload it there). Plus you can prove photos taken with the app weren’t tampered with. ONRECORD takes evidence gathering to new levels unachievable by any of the traditional ways of doing it. 

Some examples of record keeping

As an example of how record keeping can make all the difference, a man had been repeatedly attending A&E with injuries, some of which were serious, but had been giving unconvincing explanations about how they happened. None of the hospital staff believed what he’d said. The man was accompanied by his partner who seemed to hospital staff to be aggressive and threatening but the man gave no hint that he was a victim of domestic abuse. He had died in hospital after one of these attacks.  He had not kept any records but his worried but forward-thinking sisters had. Between them, using ONRECORD, they had kept records of what they’d seen and been told in private by him and others.  They had uploaded some photos of the injuries which were linked to the records and which could be pieced together with other evidence held by the police to build their case. 

As another example in a case in the Family Court, a mother alleged that on a series of occasions the father failed to turn up on contact/visitation days, causing the child great distress. The mother told the court that the child was saying the father couldn’t be trusted and so there should be no more contact visits. But fortunately the father had heard of ONRECORD and had kept full and detailed records, fearful of what the mother might do.  He had records of all the contacts and could show, using ONRECORD’s meta-data, the date, time and location where they were taken. Not only did the evidence exonerate the father but it has also proved the mother to be dishonest so that the rest of her evidence should be mistrusted.

What is the best way of following the golden rule?

In essence, the best way to approach record-keeping is:

  1. Make a record on each occasion as soon after the event as possible;
  2. Add supporting evidence;
  3. Prove the time and place where it happened;
  4. Rate the severity of the event;
  5. Upload it when it’s done;
  6. Do not alter your original record but add any amendments as you need to;
  7. Present all your records in date/time order;
  8. Share your records securely online with your adviser(s) and don’t part with your original evidence unless you are forced to (because people often lose it and then you are stuck).

ONRECORD is the perfect tool, doing all of this. Uploaded records are securely stored on our servers to that, even if you lose your phone or it gets broken, your records are safe and can be accessed by you immediately by simply logging into your account. 

Our website  helps you in many different ways to obey the golden rule of keeping records

Our website is packed with lots of guidance and information about different problems, how to gather evidence and how to present it. 

For example, the section explaining how ONRECORD helps you, gives guidance about what evidence you need to prove different cases, with links to where you can get more help and information.  The section of the website describing the app and the guidance videos explain how to make a record, how to add supplementary evidence and goes in detail into every aspect of how to make your record keeping powerful and effective.

Remember to always think about what extra evidence you might have that will help you prove what you say, whether it is a photo, a screenshot, a video or a document.

ALWAYS KEEP ORIGINALS. You might be asked to produce them so they can be checked out.  When you’re involved in something serious, don’t throw away anything that might help you prove what you or someone else has done. Be vigilant and look for anything that might help if a case has to be made. 

Our YouTube Channel also has lots of guidance about using the app, evidence generally and interviews of interesting people talking about serious problems and identifying huge failures in the legal system.  In particular, check out Chris Daw KC, defence barrister, talking about evidence.

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