Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice

Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice

Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice

Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and Practice

Synopsis

Well–informed and skilled interviewing is a key factor in dealingwith suspects, victims and witnesses. Experienced police andinvestigators know this from their own practice, and there is now asubstantial body of research and theory in psychology whichsupports this practice and can guide both training and thedevelopment of investigative work. The purpose of this book is toprovide a concise and clearly written guide to the psychologicalconcepts and research–based knowledge that can support and guideinvestigative interviewing. It deals in particular with:
∗ good basic practice and methods for investigativeinterviewing
∗ how to deal with false confessions and unreliable or incompletewitness information
∗ the special problems of interviewing children and othervulnerable people
∗ the process of interviewing suspects, victims, witnesses,complainants and colleagues
This book will be of interest and value to a wide range ofprofessionals involved in training and practice in the police orother agencies, as well as social workers,lawyers, psychologistsand psychiatrists involved in forensic work. "The strength of thisbook lies in its relevance for both practice and research ininvestigative interviewing, not only in Britain butinternationally. Based on psychological theory and research, itprovides practitioners with a wealth of information and specificguidelines to help improve their interviewing skills. Researchersare challenged to address some of the, as yet, unansweredquestions." Janet Jackson, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Criminality and Law Enforcement, Leiden, The Netherlands This bookis published in the Wiley Series in the Psychology of Crime,Policing and Law Series Editors: professor Professor Graham Davies University of Leicester, UK, and Professor Ray Bull University of Portsmouth, UK

Excerpt

The Wiley Series on the Psychology of Crime, Policing and Law publishes concise and integrative reviews on important emerging areas of contemporary research. The purpose of the series is not merely to present research findings in a clear and readable form, but also bring out their implications for both practice and policy. In this way it is hoped, the series will be useful not only to psychologists, but also to all those concerned with crime detection and prevention, policing and the judicial process.

Investigative Interviewing summarises one of the areas where psychology has made a significant contribution to effective policing in recent years. As Milne and Bull emphasise, interviews have always been central to police work, but until now, very little was known about the effectiveness of traditional techniques. This book provides a comprehensive review of the growing research literature on interviewing, both of suspects and witnesses (the distinction can become blurred, as on occasion, “witnesses” emerge as suspects). It describes specialised techniques for interviewing vulnerable witnesses such as children, the mentally ill and those with learning difficulties. In contrast to conventional police manuals, it places interviewing firmly within a psychological framework, informed by research on the nature of memory on the one hand and social psychology on the other.

Admissions by suspects under interview remain a crucial source of evidence for convictions. Until recently, even in UK police forces, the interviewing of suspects was characterised by the use of deception, intimidation and, on occasion, physical violence, in order to achieve what was termed “psychological ascendancy” over the interviewee. This procedure led to confessions—but also to false confessions by vulnerable and suggestible suspects. As the authors emphasise, false confessions are doubly damaging: they can lead to miscarriages of justice for those named in the confession and can leave the real perpetrators free to commit further crimes. The issue in 1992 to all detectives of a new guide to investigative interviewing, based on the results of applied psychological research, marked a major turning point in police culture and attitudes.

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