Browsing Derby Law School by Authors
Evaluating interviews which search for the truth with suspects: but are investigators’ self-assessments of their own skills truthful ones?Walsh, Dave; King, Mick; Griffiths, Andy; University of Derby; Department of Social Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department of Social Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department of Social Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Taylor and Francis, 2017-03-09)Self-evaluation of one’s own performance has been found in prior research to be an enabler of professional development. The task of evaluation is also a core component of a model of the investigative interviewing of victims, witnesses and suspects, being increasingly used throughout the world. However, it remains the case that there has been little research as to how practitioners approach the task itself. The present study examined the topic through the lens of observing how effectively 30 real-life investigators in the UK undertook evaluation of their interviews, representing almost the entire investigative frontline workforce of a small law enforcement agency in this country. Using an established scale of measurement, both investigators’ and an expert’s ratings of the same sample of interviews were compared across a range of tasks and behaviours. It was found that in almost all the assessed behaviours, requiring of the investigators to provide a self-rating, their scores tended to significantly outstrip those applied to the sample by the expert. Reasons are explored for the investigators’ overstated assessments. Implications for practice are then discussed.
Qualitative analysis of qualitative evaluation: an exploratory examination of investigative interviewers’ reflections on their performanceGriffiths, Andy; Walsh, Dave; University of Derby; Department of Social Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department of Social Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Taylor and Francis, 2017-10-12)Self-evaluation of interviews conducted by law enforcement professionals is a principal feature of a prescribed interview framework in England and Wales, underpinning their practice development. However, self-evaluation has been found in prior research to be neglected. Building on our recent study (which found that interviewers regularly over-rated themselves, when compared to our independent ratings), the same interviewers assessed their interview skills by way of completing an extensive reflective log. We found that those we regarded as skilled in our prior study tended to be more accurate in identifying their strengths and areas for improvement, while planning to correct such shortfalls in their future practice. On the other hand, those we had earlier rated as least skilled tended to be much less reflective, being both descriptive and inaccurate in their understanding of key interview tasks. They also remained inaccurate concerning their own interview skills, failing to be prospective in planning to improve their skills. As such, while reflective logs appear to be, for skilled interviewers, both a prompt for accurate self-assessment and a catalyst for planning further professional development, we also caution that such tools need further refinement to achieve the same goals for those either less reflective or less skilled.