Does tier 3 significant witness interview training work?
Gartrell, Peter (2010) Does tier 3 significant witness interview training work? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.
In accordance with post 1992 national developments in investigative interviewing, in 2000, the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary (D&CC) introduced a training course to deliver the enhanced cognitive interview (ECI) to improve the quality of its investigative interviewing skills for significant witnesses. This dovetailed with existing courses available for the interviewing of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses defined by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 and the PEACE course for suspect interviews. A decade later, this study provides the first substantial evaluation of interviews conducted by interviewers trained to use the ECI in that policing area, by applying 64 variable behaviours representing the phases of the ECI model, to 40 ECIs conducted during 2008 and 2009. The study showed that despite annual refresher training and practical experience of at least two interviews per year the cognitive techniques contained within the model were not transferred to the workplace where interviewers employed a conversation management (CM) approach suggesting an overshadowing effect from suspect interview training which has historically been a focus of investigative interview training. The study indicates that further research is required into the design of the training course, development of a continuing workplace assessment programme and the effect that opportunities to use the skill has on overall performance. Advanced witness interviewing skills are attracting increasing attention from the judiciary and this study makes a significant contribution to overall knowledge of witness interviewing and the effectiveness of the training that empowers the interviewing practitioners.
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