Is there room for flair in criminal investigation?

John Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is drawn from a wider research study designed to examine the factors that determine the effectiveness of nationally published police professional practice. It also aims to explore the nature of the investigation process and to identify the ways in which the professional practice publications, such as the ACPO 2006 Murder Investigation Manual (MIM) can best be used by the police service. Because the body of police professional practice publications was only introduced in the last 20 years, there has been little, if any academic interest in this area and the research aims to contribute to improved knowledge of it. Many police studies are concerned with classic themes such as discretion, accountability, and leadership. As well as the specific theme of the overall research, a contribution is offered in this short paper concerning aspects of these classic themes. The use of discretion within specific investigations will be explored and consideration given to whether the police should be able to use their own flair when carrying out investigations or whether they should be constrained by tried and tested methodologies. This study, which incorporates a US/UK international comparison, was mainly conducted using qualitative research techniques and, in particular, semistructured interviews with over 60 police officers and other significant respondents in England and the United States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-18
JournalJournal of Homicide and Major Incident Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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