Using the PEACE model to assess the efficacy of The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) suspect interviews (2010-present day)

Berns, Elizabeth (2016) Using the PEACE model to assess the efficacy of The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) suspect interviews (2010-present day). BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (578kB)


    The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory. The legal system in the jurisdiction is based on English common law, (Cayman Island Judicial website, retrieved 6th February 2016). Historically judicial practice and law enforcement has been similar to that of England and Wales. However, Sir Robert Peel formed the Metropolitan police in 1828 (Newburn, 2007,p26), nearly 90 years before a police service was established in the Cayman Islands , Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, (RCIPS). When the RCIPS was created in 1907, the service was made up of one inspector and six constables, (Craton & The New History Committee, 2003, p183). The force has since grown, and there are now over four hundred officers. (RCIPS website, retrieved 25th November 2015). The Cayman Islands continues to adopt similar practices and procedures to those used by their British counterparts.
    The most significant adaptation to come to the RCIPS from the UK in modern times has come in the last ten years. This development relates to how suspect interviews are recorded.
    In 2006, the RCIPS introduced formal investigative interview training in a 2-week training course. The new course took on the British investigative interview framework, known by the acronym PEACE (PEACE acronym defined the new investigative interviewing framework into five separate stages, each stage with an individual purpose, Planning and Preparation, Engage and Explain, Account, Closure and Evaluation), (Milne, Poyser, Williamson & Savage, 2010, p126). The training encouraged the use of audio equipment to record suspect interviews instead of the traditional method of contemporaneous note taking. The objective was to install into the mind-set of officers a “search for truth” instead of the traditional opinion of the purpose of an interview to “get a confession.” However, in working practice the availability of audio-equipment was limited. Suitable locations to conduct interviews with suitable audio equipment were often unobtainable. Despite the training efforts, the most commonly used method of recording suspect interviews remained contemporaneous note taking, until 2010. In August 2010, The Police Law (2010) was amended, mandating interviews to be audio recorded, (s.76). By the end of 2010, additional audio equipment had been sourced and installed in police stations. Designated interview rooms were appointed within custody areas.
    The RCIPS are not the first police service to experience such procedural reform. In 1986, the police in English and Wales underwent similar changes, after the introduction of new legislation with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE, 1984). This law was introduced in response to a number of infamous cases resulting in miscarriages of justice, such as the Guildford Four (1975) and the Birmingham six (1976). These cases and others resulted in mistrust of the police specifically concerning interview methods, and they forced police to examine and reform practice and procedure (Poyser and Milne, 2015, p271). In contrast to the RCIPS, police in England and Wales did not undertake formal training until 1992, nearly six years after PACE. The training was implemented after collaboration with academics and legal practitioners. A formal interview framework was developed; know by the acronym “PEACE.” This standard remains the investigative interview model used by police forces throughout England and Wales (p271) and much of the developed world, (e.g. Canada, Australia), (Gudjonsson and Pearse, 2011, p34). There were two key differences for the police in the Cayman Islands when compared to the England and Wales. The first is that the training was launched prior to the change in the law. The second is that the law was amended before the public had lost confidence in the police following cases of miscarriage relating to police interview practice. These changes in law and police training have been significant in the jurisdiction and as such events merit study. It is for this reason this area of research was selected, with an aim to determine the transformation in procedure and law has resulted in efficacy for suspect interviews that are carried out by RCIPS officers.
    The research was divided into three distinct strands: (i) face to face interviews with RCIPS staff involved in the management and training of RCIPS officers under taking suspect interviewing, (ii) analysis of a sample of suspect interview recordings post 2010, (recordings recovered from closed inactive police case files), and (iii) a questionnaire distributed to crown prosecutors who work in the Cayman Islands Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The research identified enthusiasm by staff in the organisation’s Training and Development Unit (TDU) as well as support and guidance from senior RCIPS officers. It also identified that the changes received support from prosecutors at the Office of the Director for Public prosecutions. The results support the opinion that progressive steps have been undertaken by the RCIPS in adopting such practices introduced from England and Wales in the absence of the public pressure experienced in England and Wales. Since the “PEACE” training was implemented, the results suggest there has been notable improvement in standards but there are still areas that require development. This dissertation concludes by presenting recommendations aimed to assist and support the RCIPS to achieve continued development in the task of suspect interviewing.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 15:28
    Last Modified: 20 Jan 2017 15:28

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...