Police officers' perceptions of eyewitness performance in forensic investigations

Mark R. Kebbell*, Rebecca Milne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few contemporary data support the assertion that eyewitnesses are important in police investigations. In the present study, 159 UK police officers were surveyed regarding their perceptions of eyewitnesses and eyewitness performance. The respondents indicated that eyewitnesses usually provide the central leads in criminal investigations; however, the police officers also believed that eyewitnesses rarely provide sufficient information, especially descriptive details as opposed to action details. Nevertheless, the officers believed that eyewitnesses are rarely incorrect. A sizable minority reported that witnesses rarely come forward to the police and that those who do are often reluctant to testify in court. Many officers indicated that they do not have enough time to conduct good eyewitness interviews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1998


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