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Voices from the front line: police officers’ perceptions of real-world interviewing with vulnerable witnesses

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The current study investigated the experiences of nine UK police officers who specialise in the interviewing of vulnerable witnesses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the officers, the interviews were then analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach, hence the relatively low sample size. Three key themes were identified. These themes were; pressures on interviewers including cognitive load, the culture within the police service and stress; the lack of development of interviewing skills including few opportunities for continuing professional development and feedback; and witness considerations including rapport building and interviewing facilities. Participants were acutely aware of the importance of Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) guidelines (Home Office, 2011). However, compliance in the real-world was perceived to be difficult and barriers to conducting high-quality interviews were identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-33
Number of pages19
JournalInvestigative Interviewing: Research and Practice
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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