Evaluating police interviewing practices with suspects in child sexual abuse cases

Julianne Read, Martine Powell, Mark R. Kebbell, Becky Milne, Rebecca Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examined adherence to current best practice recommendations for police interviewing of individuals suspected of committing child-sexual offences. We analysed 81 police records of interviews (electronically recorded and then transcribed) with suspects in child-sexual abuse cases in England and Australia. Overall we found areas of skilled practice, indicating that police interviewing in Australia and England is in a far better place than 20 years ago. However, this study also demonstrated that there is still a gap between the recommended guidelines for interviewing and what actually happens in practice. Specifically, limitations were found in the following areas: transparency of the interview process; introduction of allegations; disclosure of evidence; questioning techniques; and the interviewing approach or manner adopted. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-544
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number5
Early online date15 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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