• Exploring the disclosure of forensic evidence in police interviews with suspects

      Smith, Lisa L.; Bull, Ray; University of Leicester; University of Derby (Springer, 2013-07-02)
      Despite many years of empirical research focusing on investigative interviewing and detecting deception, very little research attention has been paid to the various types of evidence which feature in police interviews with suspects. In particular, the use of forensic evidence in the context of police interviews has not been previously considered, although in recent years the availability of various types of forensic analyses has dramatically increased. In the current study 398 experienced police interviewers from various countries completed a questionnaire about their experience of using various types of forensic evidence in interviews with suspects, as well as their perceptions regarding the strength of various sources of forensic information and how this may affect their interviewing strategy. The results indicated that although the participants have forensic evidence available in a large proportion of their interviews with suspects, the vast majority of police interviewers have received no training about how to interpret or use such forensic information. However, the perceived strength of forensic evidence was reported by some participants to affect their interview strategy and specifically the timing of the disclosure of such evidence during an interview. These findings are discussed with reference to police training and interview techniques, and suggestions for further research are offered.