Eliciting human intelligence: police source handlers’ perceptions and experiences of rapport during CHIS interactions

Jordan Harry Nunan, Ian Stanier, Becky Milne, Andie Shawyer, Dave Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

301 Downloads (Pure)


Rapport is an integral part of interviewing, viewed as fundamental to the success of intelligence elicitation. There are a variety of methods that agencies can use to collect intelligence. One of the dominant collection capabilities is Human Intelligence (HUMINT), the discipline charged with eliciting intelligence through interactions with human sources, such as Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS). To date, research has yet to explore the perceptions and experiences of intelligence operatives responsible for gathering HUMINT within England and Wales. The present study consisted of structured interviews with police Source Handlers (N = 24) who work within counter-terrorism. An exploration of the current successes and challenges in gathering intelligence with a specific focus on rapport was undertaken. Rapport was perceived as essential, especially with regard to maximising the opportunity for intelligence elicitation. Participants provided a range of rapport strategies while highlighting the importance of establishing, and maintaining, rapport. The majority of participants believed rapport could be trained to some degree. Thus, rapport was not viewed exclusively as a natural skill, participants however commonly perceived some natural attributes are required to build rapport that can be refined and developed through training and experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)0
Number of pages27
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date6 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 6 May 2020


  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • ES/N009614/1


Dive into the research topics of 'Eliciting human intelligence: police source handlers’ perceptions and experiences of rapport during CHIS interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this