• Developing a scale to measure the presence of possible prejudicial stereotyping in police interviews with suspects: The Minhas Investigative Interviewing Prejudicial Stereotyping Scale (MIIPSS)

      Minhas, Rashid Ali; Walsh, Dave; Bull, Ray; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2016-10-31)
      If police interviewers hold negative feelings towards certain groups, this may affect how they interview them (either as victims, witnesses or suspects) in that they may not obtain reliable accounts, being the aim of such interviews. The Minhas Investigative Interviewing Prejudicial Stereotyping Scale (MIIPSS) has been developed to assess the level of any investigative interviewers' prejudicial stereotyping towards suspects. The current exploratory study involved semi-structured interviews with twenty people, who had previously been interviewed as suspects in England and also eight very experienced lawyers. Both their views were measured using the MIIPSS before being subjected to a Guttman analysis. Statistical analyses showed that MIIPSS satisfies the criteria for classification as a valid unidimensional and cumulative scale. Therefore, researchers could use MIIPSS as a tool to measure prejudicial stereotyping in investigative interviews. Interviewers could also use MIIPSS to monitor their own attitudes towards certain groups or individuals suspected of different types of crimes.
    • 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.
    • Examining the effects of violence and personality on eyewitness memory

      Pajón, Laura; 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, 2017-05-24)
      Witnesses play a key role in criminal investigations. Research in estimator variables has aided criminal justice practitioners to estimate, post hoc, the likelihood of obtaining accurate testimony from a specific witness. Nonetheless, only a few studies have examined how violence and personality influence memory. The present study examines both variables with a student sample (N = 53). Participants were randomly divided between those who viewed a crime involving physical violence (n = 24) and those who watched an event that did not include physical violence (n = 29). Results found that physical violence increased the quantity of information recalled, and Honesty personality domain was positively correlated with memory performance. Nonetheless, the relationship between personality domains and memory performance appeared to be influenced and modified by the presence of physical violence. Under violent conditions personality domains of Emotionality and Openness appeared to be related with decreased memory accuracy, whereas Contentiousness appeared to be related with increased memory accuracy. This study enables a clearer picture to emerge of the effect that violence and personality have on memory and seeds the idea that claiming linear relationships between estimator variables and memory may be over-simplistic as variables appeared to be related among them when influencing eyewitness memory.
    • An exploration of perceptions of real-life suspects’ from the Asian Muslim community relating to the police interviewing practices in England

      Minhas, Rashid; Walsh, Dave; Bull, Ray; University of Derby; International Policing and Justice Institute, One Friar Gate Square, University of Derby, Derby, UK; International Policing and Justice Institute, One Friar Gate Square, University of Derby, Derby, UK; International Policing and Justice Institute, One Friar Gate Square, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Taylor and Francis, 2017-09-11)
      In England and Wales, the ‘war on terror’ has been argued to impact adversely on existing race relations policies. New legislation (such as wide discretionary powers of stop and search and arrest under the Terrorism Act (TA) 2000, the extension of pre-charge detention of 28 days (TA 2006), and the use of control orders to detain without trial), policing, and counter-terrorism measures may cast Muslims as the ‘enemy within’. The current research concerns real-life Asian Muslim suspects’ perceptions and experiences of police interviewing practices in England. This study involves semi-structured interviews with 22 people who had previously been interviewed as suspects throughout England. Around two-thirds of participants reported perceiving the demonstration of various stereotyping by police officers during interviews, half of whom indicated that the interviewers demonstrated racial/religious stereotypes via discriminatory behaviour. Given the potential and serious consequences of such racial/religious stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour, further training of police officers seems necessary to improve both interviewing performance and community cohesion.
    • Interviewing suspects: examining the association between skills, questioning, evidence disclosure, and interview outcomes

      Walsh, Dave; Bull, Ray; University of Derby (2015-04-09)
      The 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.
    • Investigative empathy: a strength scale of empathy based on European police perspectives

      Baker, Bianca; Bull, Ray; Walsh, Dave; University of Derby; De Montfort University (Taylor and Francis, 2020-05-14)
      A growing body of research suggests that empathy may play a major role in establishing and maintaining rapport during police interviews. The benefits of rapport include not only increased cooperation from interviewees, but also gaining more accurate investigation-relevant information. However, despite a large amount of research on empathy which already exists, there still is, unfortunately, no universally agreed-upon definition and very little research on operationalizing and implementing appropriate forms of empathy, especially within the realm of investigative interviewing. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the goal of better understanding empathy from a police perspective and developing a way to assess and operationalize empathy for use in police interviews with suspects of high risk crimes (particularly with sex offences). The study considers police interviewers’ varying definitions of empathy in seven European countries, along with other factors. It analyzed police interviewers’ self-reports regarding their (i) training and methods employed during interviews, (ii) application of empathy in interviews, and (iii) definitions/understanding of empathy. Based on their answers, the various definitions of empathy were compiled and then placed on a new strength scale. It was found that officers in all participating countries varied within each country in their use of accusatory or information-gathering interview styles, suggesting that the methods employed were not systematically and uniformly taught and/or applied. The majority of participants in each country claimed to currently employ empathy in their interviews with suspects, yet they varied on their strength of the definitions provided. In no country was empathy considered useless in interviews and in no country was empathy defined as having aspects that may not be conducive to investigative interviewing.
    • Investigative empathy: Five types of cognitive empathy in a field study of investigative interviews with suspects of sexual offences

      Baker-Eck, Bianca; Bull, Ray; Walsh, Dave; University of Derby; De Montfort University (International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, 2021-04)
      Empathy in investigative interviews has increasingly become a focus in the recent literature on investigative interviewing as its implementation may aid in building and maintaining rapport. Displaying empathy in interviews is claimed to have positive impacts on the provision of investigation relevant information and the cooperation of interviewees. However, the literature currently omits practically operationalizing empathy, which would provide a means of implementing it effectively in investigative interviews. As such, the present study examines empathic displays by interviewers employed in interviews with suspects of high-risk crimes such as sexual offences in order to see what types are applied as a step towards identifying and possibly defining/operationalizing empathy during investigative interviews in the future. 19 audio-tapes of police interviews with suspects of sexual crimes in England and Wales conducted by experienced police interviewers were coded for their empathic displays and suspects’ level of cooperation throughout the interviews. Five different types of empathy were found to be employed. Interviews that had higher levels of suspect cooperation involved all five types of investigative empathy, whereas interviews in which fewer types of empathy were displayed had less cooperation (by offering less or no information). Thus, the use of investigative empathy in investigative interviews can indeed be recommended.
    • One way or another? Criminal investigators' beliefs regarding the disclosure of evidence in interviews with suspects in England and Wales

      Walsh, Dave; Milne, Becky; Bull, Ray; University of Derby (Springer, 2015-07-11)
      The research base concerning interviews with suspects remains to be comprehensively developed. For example, the extant literature provides differing views regarding how best to undertake the important interview task of disclosing evidence. In the current study, using a self-report questionnaire, 224 investigators based in England and Wales were asked as to their own preferred methods. Most respondents advocated a gradual method of disclosing evidence, stating that this approach would better reveal inconsistencies and obtain a complete version of events (similar to the reasoning of those who preferred disclosing evidence later). Those who advocated revealing evidence early stated this approach would more likely elicit confessions. Several respondents would not commit to one single method, arguing that their chosen strategy was contextually dependent. The study’s findings suggest that it remains arguable as to whether there is one best approach to evidence disclosure and/or whether particular circumstances should influence interviewing strategies.
    • Perceptions of psychological coercion and human trafficking in the West Midlands of England: Beginning to know the unknown

      Dando, Coral J.; Walsh, Dave; Brierley, Robin; University of Derby (Public Library of Science, 2016-05-05)
      Modern slavery is less overt than historical state-sanctioned slavery because psychological abuse is typically used to recruit and then control victims. The recent UK Draft Modern Slavery Bill, and current UK government anti-slavery strategy relies heavily on a shared understanding and public cooperation to tackle this crime. Yet, UK research investigating public understanding of modern slavery is elusive. We report community survey data from 682 residents of the Midlands of England, where modern slavery is known to occur, concerning their understanding of nonphysical coercion and human trafficking (one particular form of modern slavery). Analysis of quantitative data and themed categorization of qualitative data revealed a mismatch between theoretical frameworks and understanding of psychological coercion, and misconceptions concerning the nature of human trafficking. Many respondents did not understand psychological coercion, believed that human trafficking did not affect them, and confused trafficking with immigration. The public are one of the most influential interest groups, but only if well informed and motivated towards positive action. Our findings suggest the need for strategically targeted public knowledge exchange concerning this crime.
    • Planning ahead? An exploratory study of South Korean Investigators' beliefs about their planning for investigative interviews of suspects.

      Kim, Jihwan; Walsh, Dave; Bull, Ray; Bergstrøm, Henriette; University of Derby (Springer, 2017-11-16)
      Preparation and planning has been argued to be vitally important as to how effectively investigators undertake their interviews with suspects. Yet it has also been found in previous research that investigators admit that they plan only occasionally, often attributing insufficient time as reason for not undertaking the task. Employing a novel research paradigm that utilized theoretical foundations concerning planning, the present study explored empirically 95 South Korean financial crime investigators’ views, using a self-administered questionnaire. Through the use of second generation statistical modelling, an understanding was developed of the relative relationships between various concepts (which had themselves emerged from an established theoretical framework of planning that had been further extended to accommodate the context of the present study) The study found that perceived time pressures actually showed a very low association with interview planning. Rather, investigators self-belief as to their own capability alongside workplace culture were each found to have stronger associations with investigators’ intentions to plan for their interviews. As such, we argue that there should be more focus on improving occupational culture relating to interview planning, while developing training programs that identify, evaluate and enhance investigators’ planning skills. Implications for practice are therefore discussed.
    • Police interrogation practice in Slovenia

      Areh, Igor; Walsh, Dave; Bull, Ray; University of Derby (2015-12-23)
      Interrogation techniques are well explored, but in Slovenia it has remained unknown what interrogation techniques are used and what the basic characteristics of suspect interrogations are. The Slovenian interrogation manual proposes some coercive interrogation techniques and neglects their weaknesses. The aim of the current study was to examine Slovenian police officers’ beliefs as to the basic characteristics of their interrogations and whether techniques proposed by the manual are used in practice to begin to provide some insight into what actually happens in such interrogations. A survey instrument was used to obtain selfreport data from a sample of criminal investigators. From 86 completed questionnaires it was found that a typical interrogation of a suspect lasts around 90 minutes and is not recorded. Interviewers typically use three interrogation techniques namely (i) conducting interrogations in isolation; (ii) identifying contradictions in the suspect’s story; and (iii) confronting the suspect with evidence. Findings suggest that some coercive interrogation techniques are used in practice (e.g. offering moral justifications, alluding to have evidence of guilt, good cop/bad cop routine, and minimization). The study is the first insight into the practices of Slovenian investigators when questioning suspects. Differences among general, white-collar and organized crime investigators are also discussed.
    • Qualitative analysis of qualitative evaluation: an exploratory examination of investigative interviewers’ reflections on their performance

      Griffiths, 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.
    • Self-disclosure and self-deprecating self-reference: Conversational practices of personalization in police interviews with children reporting alleged sexual offenses

      Childs, Carrie; Walsh, Dave; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2017-11-06)
      This article examines how police officers ostensibly reveal personal information about themselves in investigative interviews with children reporting their being victim of alleged sexual offenses. We identify two practices of personalization. First, we show how, during the opening phase of interviews, officers engage in clear, unambiguous self-disclosure and how these self-disclosures are designed to elicit expressions of affiliation from witnesses. Second, we identify instances of self-deprecating self-reference as in ‘I’m going deaf that's all’. These self-references are delivered to manage trouble responsibility in environments of repair. We show how they manage the conflicting demands of rapport building and the requirement to make interviewees feel as if they are being listened to and understood, on the one hand, and the need for effective evidence gathering, on the other. The present study extends understanding of how officers personalize the investigative interview, as recommended by best practice guidelines.