120 research outputs found

    Forensic interviews with children in Scotland: a survey of interview practices among police.

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    The present study surveyed 91 police interviewers in Scottish police forces about their perceptions of how well they adhered to the Scottish Executive (2003) guidelines. Almost all respondents (97%) received the appropriate national training and overwhelmingly indicated (again 97%) that their training equipped them either quite, very, or extremely well for conducting their interviews. Not surprisingly, therefore, that most interviewers (88%) believed that their interviews allowed them to obtain full and complete accounts of the events being investigated. However, aside from this positive self evaluation there are reasons to be concerned about some aspects of the interviews being conducted; 1) Most interviewers (78%) received no refresher training, 2) no interviewers received formal feedback about the quality of interviews that they conducted, 3) practice interviews were reportedly not included in most interviews, 4) the use of open-ended prompts were not widely used with 20% of interviewers indicating that they were rarely used, and 5) interviews are not currently being electronically recorded. These results are discussed with respect to the context of child interviewing in Scotland and recommendations for future training

    Are two interviews better than one? Eyewitness memory across repeated cognitive interviews

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    Eyewitnesses to a filmed event were interviewed twice using a Cognitive Interview to examine the effects of variations in delay between the repeated interviews (immediately & 2 days; immediately & 7 days; 7 & 9 days) and the identity of the interviewers (same or different across the two repeated interviews). Hypermnesia (an increase in total amount of information recalled in the repeated interview) occurred without any decrease in the overall accuracy. Reminiscence (the recall of new information in the repeated interview) was also found in all conditions but was least apparent in the longest delay condition, and came with little cost to the overall accuracy of information gathered. The number of errors, increased across the interviews, but the relative accuracy of participants’ responses was unaffected. However, when accuracy was calculated based on all unique details provided across both interviews and compared to the accuracy of recall in just the first interview it was found to be slightly lower. The identity of the interviewer (whether the same or different across interviews) had no effects on the number of correct details. There was an increase in recall of new details with little cost to the overall accuracy of information gathered. Importantly, these results suggest that witnesses are unlikely to report everything they remember during a single Cognitive Interview, however exhaustive, and a second opportunity to recall information about the events in question may provide investigators with additional information

    The own-race bias in child and adolescent witnesses: Evidence from video line-ups

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    This study investigated the own-race bias in British school children using an eyewitness paradigm. Some 319 participants viewed films of two similar staged thefts, one that depicted a Caucasian culprit and the other an Asian culprit, and then after a delay of 2–3 days, viewed a line-up for each culprit. One hundred and seventy-six of the participants were Caucasian and 143 were Asian. There were also two age groups: 164 were aged 7–9 years and 152 were 12–14 years. There was a significant own-race bias for Caucasian participants from both age groups that resulted in more correct identifications for the own-race culprit from target present line-ups and more false identifications for the target absent line-ups. Asian participants from both age groups showed no own-race bias and performed equally accurately for culprits of both races. Measures of inter-racial contact were associated with correct responses for other-race targets and revealed that the majority of Caucasian participants in the current sample had very little contact with Asians, whereas the majority of Asian participants had high levels of contact with Caucasians

    Identification on the street: A field comparison of police street identifications and video line-ups in England

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    A street identification or live show-up provides an eyewitness with an opportunity to identify a suspect shortly after a crime. In England, the majority of suspects identified are subsequently included in a video line-up for the same witness to view. In Study 1, robbery squad data from three English police forces recorded 696 crimes, the identification procedures employed and prosecution decisions. A street identification was the most frequent identification procedure, being attempted in 22.7% of investigations, followed by mugshot albums (11.2%) and video line-ups (3.4%). In Study 2, data of 59 crimes were collected in which suspects, identified in a street identification, were subsequently filmed for a video line-up. Across both studies, most (84%) suspects identified in the street were subsequently identified in a video line-up, indicative of a commitment effect, in which a witness conforms to their first identification decision. All suspects identified in two procedures were eventually cautioned or charged to appear in court. The ground truth of suspect guilt in these field data cannot be determined. However, suggestions are made for reducing the likelihood of a mistaken identification of an innocent suspect caught up in an investigation; all possible steps should be taken to reduce the inherent suggestiveness of the street identification procedure
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