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In this issue (May 2015):
The GIS-model: A Dutch approach to gather information in suspect interviews (pp.1-9) Police Academy of the Netherlands View Abstract
This article describes the development and the underlying principles of the General Interview Strategy (GIS); a strategy used, during the last decades, by the Dutch police to interview suspects. First the current situation concerning suspect interviewing in the Netherlands is discussed. Secondly, a description is given of an experiment the Police Academy of the Netherlands conducted in 1989. This experiment stands at the cradle of the GIS. Next an account is given for the four underlying principles of the GIS in the experiment: (i) Make use of internal pressure, (ii) Try to minimize eventual reluctance to provide an account, (iii) Rule out alternatives, (iv) Challenge the account. These principles are compared to findings from research within the information-gathering paradigm. The article ends with some future challenges.
The interview table: A toolbox-approach for suspect interviewing (pp. 10-20) Police Academy of the Netherlands View Abstract
Writing an interview table is the way to prepare a suspect interview that is making use of the General Interview Strategy (GIS). This article explains, step by step, how to produce an interview table. It furthermore explains how such a table can be used during the interview. A proper interview table contains all the to be used interview tactics and the case related information the interviewer wants to interview the suspect about. The article ends with some final remarks, i.e. some limitations of the interview table.
Interviews, intermediaries and interventions: Mock Jurors', police officers' and barristers' perceptions of a child witness interview (pp. 21-35) London South Bank University View Abstract
This paper evaluated the effect of the presence or absence of a registered intermediary on perceptions of a transcript of a fictitious child witness interview. Intermediaries have been introduced in England and Wales to advise professionals involved in investigations on how to conduct interviews to enable child victims and witnesses to give their best evidence. To date, no studies have explored the impact of intermediaries among key groups in the criminal justice system. Twenty each of mock jurors, police officers and barristers took part. Half the participants viewed a transcript with no intermediary present and half viewed a version adapted to include the presence of an intermediary who intervened five times. Participants completed questionnaires about the quality of the interview and the credibility of the child. The presence of an intermediary improved perceptions of the interview, with no effect on perceptions of the child. There were differences between participant groups and significant interactions on various measures. These findings have important implications for the intermediary scheme and justice for child victims.
Improving the comprehension of detainees' legal rights: A review of two Canadian programs of research (pp. 36-46) University of Ontario institute of Technology, Canada, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, York University, Canada View Abstract
Individuals detained by police organizations in most Western countries are typically made aware of two legal rights – the right to silence and right to legal counsel – prior to being interrogated. Detainees must understand these rights fully; both for their own protection and to ensure any information gained from them is admissible in court. Two programs of research in Canada have examined the comprehension of Canadian police cautions (i.e., passages of text used by police officers to deliver the aforementioned legal rights), as well as ways to modify cautions to make them more comprehensible. The central findings are that police cautions are difficult to understand but that theoretically driven changes to the structure of the cautions can increase comprehensibility dramatically. In general, it is hoped that this research can serve as an example of how psychological science can have a practical impact on this important aspect of investigative interviewing.