A growing body of research has illustrated that use of an accusatorial, confrontational style by police officers in their interviews with suspects may not be more effective than a neutral, investigation-centred style, and may in some cases be counter-productive. Excerpts from one case in which such a style was adopted are presented, with accompanying excerpts from a report on the interview by an expert witness for the defence. It is argued that whether or not such interviews result in confessions by suspects, confrontational interviewing of suspects is likely to bring additional, unnecessary, and avoidable challenges to a prosecution case. It is also noted that the expert evidence on interviewing may on occasion be insufficiently informed or biased, contrary to what should be the professional attitude of the expert involved.
- police interviews
- investigative interviewing
- conversation management
- suspect interviews
Baxter, J. S., Bain, S. A., & McAusland, J. (2007). "Are you thick?" A case study of confrontational aspects of a police interview with a suspect. Police Journal, 80(2), 99-108. https://doi.org/10.1350/pojo.2007.80.2.99