Interviewing suspects in England and Wales

Colin Clarke*, Rebecca Milne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Prior to the introduction of the PEACE model of interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects in 1993, police officers in England and Wales (in Britain) received little or no instruction in this aspect of their work. Interview techniques were usually passed from one officer to another, sometimes by officers who received specialist training in the military, which resulted in a range of techniques that seemed to produce confessions (McKenzie, 1992). However, these techniques often included some form of coercion despite psychologists’ beliefs that they were unproductive (Hassler, 1930; Peixoto, 1934). Indeed, in a study for the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure that was published in 1981, Irving (1980) found police used a variety of manipulative and persuasive tactics to obtain confessions. On the other hand, Walkley (1983), at that time a serving British police officer, surveyed detectives’ views on the use of force when conducting interviews and found that over half believed police officers should not use force, with 10 per cent admitting to having used force to obtain a confession. What people say they do and actually do is not always one and the same.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Developments and Practices in Investigative Interviewing and Interrogation
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: Suspects
EditorsDavid Walsh, Gavin Oxburgh, Allison Redlich, Trond Myklebust
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781315769677
ISBN (Print)9781138781757, 9781138066083
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice


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