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In this issue (June 2014):
The present study offers evidence in support of an overarching theory regarding why intelligence sources choose to withhold confidential information. This theory can offer HUMINT collectors a useful framework to guide their interrogations; providing a (i) theoretical footing upon which future research can be based; (ii) means to explain the results of prior interrogation studies; (iii) theoretical target for other researchers: an object ripe for disproof. The theory asserts that the reasons underlying sources’ reluctance to disclose confidential information can be linked to their fear, social anxiety, and/or their principles. Participants imagined themselves in six interviewing/interrogation scenarios, including what they would not want to tell the collector. Subsequently, participants reported their reasons for withholding information. Supporting the theory, blind raters classified 100% of responses within the theory’s taxonomy, and raters’ agreement was high. Participants’ self-ratings along the theory’s taxonomy offered corroborating support for the theory.
This paper examines the influence of confusing questions on the accuracy and confidence of adolescents' recall of a mock crime by answering either simple or confusing questions in written form. One hundred and twenty four adolescents (aged between 13 and 17 years) viewed a brief video of an unusual criminal event and were then asked to complete a question booklet addressing what they had seen. Half of the participants were given four categories of confusing questions (negatives, double negatives, complex syntax, and complex vocabulary – all question types typically used within courtroom examinations); the other half were asked simpler forms of the same questions. The confusing questions did reduce accurate recall of an unusual event. The results also suggested that confusing questions weakened the relationship between confidence and accuracy. Poorly worded questions, exacerbated by repetition, potentially corrupt eyewitness memory and derail investigations. The interaction of retrieval access dynamics with traditionally complicated and intimidating courtroom questioning is also addressed.
The aim of this paper is to examine eyewitnesses’ recollections of a shooting incident in October 2005 in Tallinn, Estonia when two males aimed to murder a local CEO. The case is described and analysed in the light of knowledge of what it known about structured investigative interviewing methods of adult victims and witnesses. The information about crimes at present can be spread very quickly using online media or social networks thus the possibility of the contamination of witnesses’ memories is in place. It is important that the witnesses should be rapidly separated and skilfully interviewed. If there is not enough manpower available for interviewing them then alternative methods should be applied to interview multiple witnesses such as Self-Administered Interview protocol. As the capacity of witnesses’ short-term memory is limited and the workload of the interviewer is high in interviewing then, alternatively, recording the interviews would help to save all necessary details in a more accurate manner.
Many people, particularly those who do not attend iIIRG conferences, may not be aware of the full potential of the International Investigative Group to inform, facilitate and support academic-practitioner interactions. One possible illustration of how the group has been successful in this respect is the development and progress of the Liverpool Interview Protocol (LIP). The iIIRG was involved at the inception of the LIP and the group has been essential to its advancement and application. In this article, therefore, it is argued that the development and application of the LIP might serve as a useful model of how, through the iIIRG, a fruitful academic-practitioner interaction may be achieved. However, for any technique to be developed and applied effectively, it must be seen in the context of other techniques that may, a) be more useful in different contexts, and b) could be used in combination to provide more effective outcomes. Emphasis is placed on the role of iIIRG in engendering a non-competitive co-operative ethos where complementary research and practices may flourish.