‘Then what happened?’: an analysis of victim and witness interview training and practices in Nunavut

Chenier, Catherine (2014) ‘Then what happened?’: an analysis of victim and witness interview training and practices in Nunavut. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    A survey of police officers in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut and a content analysis of 20 victim/witness interviews revealed that although police officers are aware of the difficulties of interviewing and can describe some elements of a competent interview, their actual practices are similar to those found in other studies: less than ideal. Interviewers violated the 80/20 talking rule in most of the interviews, and used more unproductive questions than necessary for cooperative interviewees. Although full accounts were requested in all interviews, and officers demonstrated good listening skills, the questioning sequences that followed the free recall showed an inappropriate level of control, with a pattern of asking alternating inappropriate closed or clarifying questions, and probing questions, in an attempt to pin the interviewee down to a story acceptable to the interviewer. In addition, although some officers could explain certain Cognitive Interview components in the survey, few attempts were made to incorporate Cognitive Interview techniques. Training was found to be mostly suspect interview-based, with officers having taken various courses or only the training offered in recruit basic training. The author recommends that victim and witness interview training for police officers in the Canadian north take into account the characteristics of Inuit culture, which is collectivist, high-context and polychromic. Training should also be standardised, with a tier-based training protocol such as PEACE, being implemented in Nunavut.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 10:42
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 10:42
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16697

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