Investigative interviewing

Becky Milne, Martine Powell

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


Investigative interviewing is a method of communicating with anyone within the investigation process (be they witness, victim, suspect or the police officer at the scene) in order to obtain the maximum quality of information. As a result, ethical investigative interviewing is at the heart of any police investigation and thus is the root of achieving justice in society (Milne, Shaw and Bull 2007). This is because there are two key aims underpinning any investigation and these are to (i) find out what happened, and if anything did happen (ii) to discover who did what (Milne and Bull 2006). In order to answer these two primary investigative questions investigators need to gather information and invariably the source of the information is a person (e.g. witness, victim, suspect, complainant, first officer at the scene of a crime, emergency services, informant, experts and so on). Thus one of the most important tools in an investigator’s tool box is the ability to interview (Milne and Bull 2006). Investigative interviews conducted by police can vary greatly in purpose, scope and content (e.g. proactive and reactive investigations). Nevertheless, the common objective of all investigative interviews is to elicit the most accurate, complete and detailed account from an interviewee.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge handbook of forensic psychology
EditorsJ. Brown, E. Campbell
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780521878098
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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