One way or another? Criminal investigators' beliefs regarding the disclosure of evidence in interviews with suspects in England and Wales

D. Walsh, Rebecca Jane Milne, R. Bull

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Abstract

The research base concerning interviews with suspects remains to be comprehensively developed. For example, the extant literature provides differing views regarding how best to undertake the important interview task of disclosing evidence. In the current study, using a self-report questionnaire, 224 investigators based in England and Wales were asked as to their own preferred methods. Most respondents advocated a gradual method of disclosing evidence, stating that this approach would better reveal inconsistencies and obtain a complete version of events (similar to the reasoning of those who preferred disclosing evidence later). Those who advocated revealing evidence early stated this approach would more likely elicit confessions. Several respondents would not commit to one single method, arguing that their chosen strategy was contextually dependent. The study’s findings suggest that it remains arguable as to whether there is one best approach to evidence disclosure and/or whether particular circumstances should influence interviewing strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Volume31
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Investigative interviewing
  • Evidence disclosure
  • Investigative interviewing tactics
  • PEACE model
  • Investigative interviewing strategy

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