A survey was conducted in the UK to identify the beliefs and attitudes of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and police fraud investigators towards the PEACE model of interviewing with particular focus on assumptions of guilt, interviewer characteristics and detecting deception. There was support for the usefulness of the PEACE model for fraud interviews, although assumptions of guilt prior to these interviews were widespread. This finding was coupled with stereotypical beliefs about cues to deception, despite a general view that open mindedness and good listening skills were key features of a good interviewer. It was concluded that the way in which fraud investigations are carried out challenges the expectation that the interviewer will not assume guilt prior to the interview but does not necessarily challenge the expectation that the interviewer will have an open minded and non-judgemental attitude. Beliefs about cues to deception should be challenged and substituted for more reliable indicators.
- investigative interviewing
- assumption of guilt