Case study

Changing approaches to investigative interviews

The first of its kind

Research at the University of Derby into investigative interviews with suspects of crime is changing the way police and other investigators work.

Dr David Walsh, our Department of Law and Criminology’s Head of Research, has examined, in depth, the interviewing practices of investigations conducted by non-police officers.

His unique research concluded that an information-gathering approach to the questioning of suspects using an interviewing framework is far more effective than confrontational, interrogational styles.

Criminology students observe an interview through a two-way mirror

Dr Walsh found that, by skilfully implementing an interviewing framework, a more comprehensive, accurate and reliable account could be gathered during interviews of suspects, victims and witnesses.

This has a wide-reaching impact on the training of investigators in areas such as fraud, slavery and war crimes and has since been implemented by police in several countries, including Norway, China and the Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Constabularies in the UK.

More than 2,000 detectives have received training based on Dr Walsh's findings, as have 750 local authority investigation personnel and more than 50 International Criminal Court war crimes investigators. Investigators from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority, the East of England Fraud Forum and the Welsh Fraud Forum have also requested training.

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