Investigative interviewing: how do suspects perceive the police interview?

McGookin, Joseph (2010) Investigative interviewing: how do suspects perceive the police interview? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation explored the perceptions held by suspects of their police interview experience during the course of a criminal investigation, with specific emphasis on whether their views differed between interviews where an account was given (confessions and denials) and those where the right to silence was exercised. Fifty-one suspects were interviewed and completed a questionnaire comprising of nineteen questions, which covered the phases of the PEACE interviewing strategy. For comparison purposes the researcher who was present throughout the interviews, in his capacity as an Accredited Police Station Adviser, completed two questionnaires on his observations of (i) the interviewing officers, and (ii) the interview tactics. The results suggest that suspects are interviewed in an ethical manner and that interviewing with humanity is likely to be perceived as a fairer way of interviewing. That said, police officers should give greater prominence to how they think suspects perceive them and their strategies, as too often they are pre-occupied thinking about what they are doing themselves, without giving any consideration to what the suspect may be thinking. This study also highlights the urgent training needs of many officers, which should incorporate sound psychological principles, rather than relying on accepted wisdom.

    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 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16

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