Interviewing suspects: examining the association between skills, questioning, evidence disclosure, and interview outcomes
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe interviewing of suspects is an important element in the investigation of crime. However, studies concerning actual performance of investigators when undertaking such interviews remain sparse. Nevertheless, in England and Wales, since the introduction of a prescribed framework over 20 years ago, field studies have generally shown an improvement in interviewing performance, notwithstanding ongoing concerns largely relating to the more demanding aspects (such as building/maintaining rapport, intermittent summarising and the logical development of topics). Using a sample of 70 real-life interviews, the present study examined questioning and various evidence disclosure strategies (which have also been found demanding), examining their relationships between interview skills and interview outcomes. It was found that when evidence was disclosed gradually (but revealed later), interviews were generally both more skilled and involved the gaining of comprehensive accounts, whereas when evidence was disclosed either early or very late, interviews were found to be both less skilled and less likely to involve this outcome. These findings contribute towards an increased research base for the prescribed framework.
CitationWalsh, D. and Bull, R. (2015) 'Interviewing suspects: examining the association between skills, questioning, evidence disclosure, and interview outcomes', Psychology, Crime & Law, 21 (7):661
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law