Managing Investigative Interviews with Vulnerable Suspects in High Stakes Investigations
: An Examination of the Role of an Interview Manager

  • Martin Vaughan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Investigative interviewing plays a central role in police investigations with the aim being (i) to find out what happened and (ii) who was involved. Over the last 30 years, England and Wales has seen a dramatic shift in the way interviews with suspects are conducted. One of the reforms was the introduction of PEACE (which provides an evidence-based structure for carrying out interviews) and then following a national review in 2001, the introduction of Interview Managers (IMs). IMs were introduced to provide strategic advice, coordinate, monitor and evaluate interviews during serious or complex major investigations. Whilst there is a wealth of research on investigative interviews, there is currently no published research that has examined IMs. Thus, the aim of the current thesis was to examine the role of IMs during major incident investigations. Study 1 (Paper 1 and Paper 2) surveyed IMs (N = 53) to explore their knowledge and perceptions of their role as an IM (Paper1) and examined their understanding of the term vulnerability, and how this is dealt with on deployment (Paper 2). Study 2 (Paper 3 and Paper 4) analysed real-world interviews (N = 50) and compared interviews that had an IM to interviews that did not have an IM. More specifically, Paper 3, looked at the quality of the interviews (e.g., question types and procedures) whereas Paper 4 examined how Appropriate Adults were utilised within the interview and did they act as a safeguard. Study 3 (Paper 5) analysed the interview strategies taken from the interviews in Study 2 to examine how the strategies were drawn up and whether they were fit for purpose. Finally, the research concluded that there is a lack of guidance existing to support the IM in the construction of an interview strategy therefore Paper 6 designed and developed a Framework which outlines the nature of a suspect strategy consistent with component elements of the UK National Occupational Standards. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Date of Award14 Sept 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorBecky Milne (Supervisor) & Gary Dalton (Supervisor)

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