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Major crimes police interviewing in Dubai: an examination of the Investigative Interviewing Triangle

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Most studies on police interviewing practices have been conducted in Western
countries. The results of which may not be generalisable to other countries whose social, cultural, and legal norms differ. The research conducted for this thesis was the first to explore major crime interviewing in Dubai (and indeed the whole region) from the perspectives of three main parties in criminal investigations, namely, (i) police officers, (ii) victims, and (iii) suspects. These parties form what was termed the Investigative interviewing Triangle. In the present thesis, after a review of the investigative interviewing literature (Chapter 2) and an overview of the social and legal aspects of Dubai (Chapter 3), five empirical studies were conducted to explore the perspectives of the the three parties of the interviewing triangle.

The first empirical study (N=10) (Chapter 4) explored how police officers in Dubai conduct major crime interviews and how they viewed them, with the aim of understanding in-depth, major crime interviewing in Dubai and providing an empirical basis for the subsequent empirical studies. Informed by empirical Study One, empirical Study Two (N=62) (Chapter 5) aimed to understand the perspectives of a wider range of police officers, and helped form a broader picture of the practices of major crime
interviewing in Dubai. Chapter 6 (empirical Study Three) (N= 16) examined the
perspectives of major crime victims in Dubai, and how their experiences compared between being interviewed in a police station and being interviewed by a specialist unit, both of which they had experienced. Chapter 7 (empirical Study Four) (N=28) explored convicted offenders’ perceptions of their own police interviews, and whether their perceived police interviewing practices effected their resultant interview outcomes. Finally, empirical Study Five (Chapter 8) examined (utilising a vignette experiment) the potential effects of police interviewing styles on interview outcomes, from the perspectives of convicted offenders (N=28). Overall, the findings from these studies were in line with much of the Western research findings, especially concerning the positive effects of a humanitarian based approach. However, there were a few discrepancies (e.g. it was found that victims and suspects in this research who reported experiencing attitudes and responses related to a humanitarian interview style, also experienced a more formal police interviewer), and those differences could be attributed to Dubai having a unique social, cultural, and legal norms.
Original languageEnglish
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Award dateSep 2019

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