There is a growing awareness around the world that police interviewers demonstrate a mind-set that is reflective of both the organisational culture of their Police Department, as well as the general ethos of their society. A new approach is currently being established in various Western countries, where specific standards have been introduced in terms of suspect interviewing, including a tiered training of personnel, the prohibition of previously employed techniques that are now recognized as being manipulative, the mandatory recording of certain processes and a special focus on the protection of vulnerable suspects, through the implementation of safeguards and techniques. The effective interviewing of juvenile suspects has proven to contribute to both the protection of children as well as to optimal crime investigation. This thesis focuses on Cyprus, a country with a unique cultural background and a rather anachronistic legal system that is currently going through change and development with regards to the handling of children during certain police interactions, like that of suspect interviewing. This thesis aimed to do the following: (i) gather the opinions and perspectives of members of the Cypriot Police with regards to the interviewing of juvenile suspects; (ii) offer a comparative analysis; and (iii) using the responses, identify potential areas for development. A questionnaire was disseminated to gather the perspectives of interviewers of the Cypriot Police (N=115) concerning the training, technique(s) used, levels of confidence and procedures implemented when juvenile suspects are interviewed. The self-reported data revealed that Cyprus is not unlike other countries in which similar studies have been conducted, where: (i) the confidence levels of law enforcement officials are lower when dealing with juvenile as opposed to adult suspects; (ii) there is no clear guidance provided as to how juvenile suspects should be interviewed; (iii) specific safeguards need to be implemented or enhanced; and (iv) positive effects and attitudes are found when the humanity-based approach is implemented during police interviewing. This is the first study to focus on the police interviewing of juvenile suspects in Cyprus.
Juvenile suspect interviews in the Republic of Cyprus: procedures, legislation, interviewers’ beliefs and approaches
Fitidou, E. (Author). May 2022
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis