Managing investigative interviews with vulnerable suspects in the UK: do specialist Interview Managers (IM’s) understand vulnerability?

Martin Vaughan*, Rebecca Milne, Julie Cherryman, Gary Dalton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An Interview Manager (IM) is required to provide strategic advice to both a Senior Investigating Officer and the interview team on matters relating to suspect management in high stake investigations. This paper explored the perceptions of the IM with regard what vulnerability is and the functionality of their role during their deployment with vulnerable suspects. A self-report questionnaire was completed by 53 IMs from 16 separate UK Police Forces together with IMs from 2 UK Counter Terrorism Units and a National Crime Unit. Overall, the responses indicated that there was lack of, (i) understanding of what constituted vulnerability in the context of the criminal justice system, (ii) understanding of the AA role, and (iii) training regarding specific vulnerabilities and their impact on the investigative interview. These combined issues leave the vulnerable suspect as risk of the failure to receive a fair trial and a potential miscarriage of justice. More training and support should be provided at a national level and with their respective organisations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 29 Nov 2023


  • investigative interviewing
  • interview management
  • vulnerability
  • training
  • policing

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