Key advisory roles include:
The London Mayor’s Office Violence Reduction Advisory Group 2020-21
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) Crime Plan Advisory Group 2020-21
Mopac Matrix Community Reference Group 2018-20
Victims Commissioners Roundtable on victims 2020-21
Evidence to Home Affairs Select Committee on Serious violence, House of Commons 19/03/2019
MPS Cold Case Review of 58 sudden suspicious deaths due to drug intoxication 2018-19
His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Serious and Organised Crime Expert Reference Group 2017-19
London borough of Newham on Gangs scrutiny work 2019-21
Liaison with Street Crime Action Team (SCAT) and Government Office for London (GOL) Central unit re Street Crime. Production of street crime reports for London boroughs, (2002-2005)
Represented GOL on the Crime Forum of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2002-04
Advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on their current research into ASB, 2004-05
Advisory Board on new Racial & Violent Crimes Unit at Scotland Yard after London nail-bombings 1999
Dr Harding has provided advice to the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Number 10 Downing street
One alternative to engaging an Expert Witness is to engage an Expert Advisor. This might also be a cost-effective alternative. A key benefit here is that the expert’s advice including client report, remain privileged and non-disclosable. This permits the client to access the expert’s knowledge, guidance and opinion. This role may also assist in strategic planning of a case.
An expert witness can be quickly instructed without a need to wait on Legal Aid funding. They can assist in narrowing cases to focus on key issues pre-proceedings and ensure those involved in a case are provided with contemporary knowledge and opinion. Early instruction can also assist in such issues. An Expert Advisors would not be called to appear in court.
Dr Harding acts as an Expert Witness for both Defence and the Crown. He has undertaken Expert Witness Training with the Academy of Experts and holds Certificates in training in the foundation course, Understanding Law and Procedure Rules and Into Court. He is registered with the National Crime Agency Major Crime Investigative Support, Expert Advisers Database.
Key areas of expertise for reports and court appearances include:
• Street Gangs, gang dynamics and behaviours
• Criminal Exploitation; debt bondage; duress; vulnerabilities
• County Lines; drug dealing and drug dealing networks
• Knife crime; kidnapping; Drill music videos
• The Street Code and no snitching
• Modern slavery and NRM Decisions
What is the difference between an Expert Advisor and Expert Witness?
An EA is any person able to assist an investigation because their specialist knowledge and/ or experience allows them to give an opinion on a particular matter or provide a specialist service directly related to their expertise. EA’s are independent of the Police Service (or Solicitor) and are usually employed to interpret and present evidence as a forensic expert, as a witness, although they are not necessarily an expert witness.
Expert evidence is admissible to furnish the court with information that is likely to be outside the experience and the knowledge of a judge or jury (Criminal Practice Direction V Evidence 19A Expert Evidence).
An Expert Witness can provide the court with a statement of opinion on any admissible matter calling for expertise by the witness if they are qualified to give such an opinion.
What makes a suitable EA will depend on the context of a particular case. An EA’s expertise and qualifications are only useful to an investigation if they are relevant to the issues in that investigation. Expertise can be demonstrated through formal, recognised qualifications or through experience. The type of expertise that is appropriate will depend on the nature of the investigation.
Source: Advice for Expert Advisers, Dec. 2020, Produced on behalf of the Major Crime Investigative Support: Crime Team: Version 1.5 behalf of the Serious Crime Team
Key Professional Knowledge Themes as an Expert Witness
County lines drug networks
Different models of county lines dealing
Territorial or Postcode ‘beefs’
The MPS Gangs Matrix
Serious youth violence
Modern Day Slavery
Dangerous Dogs as weapons
Recent Expert Witness Clients include
ACA Law Ltd (formerly Punatar & Co Solicitors)
Crown Prosecution Service
GT Stewart Solicitors
Hertfordshire Midlands Police
Hodge, Jones & Allen
Hollingsworth Edwards Solicitors
Lansbury Worthington Solicitors
Old Bailey Law