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In this issue (December 2013):
This paper uses monolingual police investigative interviewing conducted under the PEACE model and using Cognitive Interviewing techniques as a framework to investigate issues that may arise in bilingual police interviewing mediated by interpreters. Through a mock police interview incorporating Cognitive Interviewing verbal strategies conducted in eight English-foreign language combinations, the authors identify issues that exist in bilingual settings. The authors argue that the central strategy of modern police interviewing techniques – eliciting a free-form narrative from the witness or suspect – conflicts fundamentally with the cognitive requirements and linguistic operations of the interpreting process. Collaboration between the interpreting and policing research communities need to be furthered in order to identify appropriate adjustments when implementing Cognitive Interviewing in bilingual settings.
During the course of an investigative interview with a victim, witness or suspect, the interviewer is expected to gather detail for the purpose of criminal or civil proceedings. Defining detail has relied on the experience and knowledge of the individual interviewer. ‘Notetaker’ has been developed to provide a more consistent approach to the gathering of detail. Using the system may assist interviewers in assessing and identifying the information categories of detail differentiating between evidential and investigative detail. When conducting interviews, investigators face the formidable task of having to actively listen, formulate questions and take notes simultaneously. In the absence of a structure to taking their notes, interviewers’ may be inclined to try and make a contemporaneous written record of the information provided by the interviewee. In these circumstances, the demands on the interviewer’s information processing systems are likely to be overloaded. Using the ‘Notetaker’ system can assist in structuring note-taking, analysis of the detail and briefing and debriefing of interviewers and other personnel involved in the investigation.
Evaluation is one of the five principles of an interviewing framework used by the police in England and Wales when attempting to gather reliable information from victims, witnesses, and suspects. Within that framework officers should evaluate when conducting interviews and thereafter for several reasons, including that of developing their professional performance. Despite the importance to the model, it has rarely been examined as to whether evaluation is being undertaken effectively in practice, how the process is conducted, and to what effect on later performance. This discussion paper seeks to alter that position, focussing upon the practices of various investigation professionals. The paper sets a future agenda for evaluation research in the context of investigative interviewing. It highlights (i) the need to study the task of evaluation in investigative interviewing; (ii) the challenges that confront investigation professionals when undertaking evaluation; and (iii) the potential individual and organisational benefits of conducting evaluation. A review of the literature concerning the evaluation task in the investigative interviewing domain reveals an unstructured approach to both self and supervisory evaluation. It is concluded that unless that position changes opportunities to enhance interviewing skills will continue to be overlooked.
This article presents a comprehensive overview of the published literature on (i) what is believed and (ii) what is actually known about the characteristics that may contribute to people being good/effective investigative interviewers. It commences with a review of the beliefs concerning the particular abilities/skills that should be possessed by interviewers/investigators who are able to gain information from interviewees. Following this a review is provided of research on actual relationships between skills/abilities and information gain in interviews. Next is presented research on the beliefs of interviews themselves. The final part contains a review of individual differences in the ability to determine if interviewees are giving truthful or deceptive information.
Doping in sport is banned under a series of international and national rules. The detection of doping has traditionally been conducted through the analysis of urine and blood samples. This strategy is now widely recognised as having failed, with many doping athletes successfully evading detection. In early 2013 the Australian Crime Commission released a report (Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport), which highlighted the growing links between organised crime and sport. The immediate response from the Australian Government has been to introduce new investigative powers (including coerced testimony) that put sports doping into the serious crime category. This paper explores the opportunities for investigative interviewers to contribute to anti-doping efforts. It reviews some of the recent national and international legislation that govern anti-doping, highlighting the ways in which investigative interviewing has come to assume a key role in anti-doping efforts.