Flashcards in Investigative Interviewing Deck (26):
With regards to interviewing witnesses, what should you do when you have multiple witnesses of a crime?
- Separate them as soon as practical and interview them individually to minimise the risk of memory contamination.
- If the interview is delayed, consider asking them not to discus the incident with others involved and explain why, i.e. the potential for post-event information to contaminate memory.
What should you do if you are interviewing a witness and what they tell you makes them a suspect?
Adopt the procedure for interviewing suspects including cautioning the person and visually recording the interview.
What are the ten principles for investigative interviewing?
1. Interviewing is at the heart of investigation
2. The aim of an interview is to discover the truth
3. Information must be complete, accurate and reliable
4. Keep an open mind
5. Act fairly
6. Questioning can be persistent
7. Some witnesses require special consideration
8. Suspects must be interviewed in accordance with the law
9. Special care must be taken to identify suspects requiring special consideration
10. Be sensitive to cultural background and religious beliefs
What are some examples of a witness who would need special consideration?
- The elderly
- Intoxicated witnesses
- Traumatised victims
- Witnesses with intellectual disability or mental health conditions
- Victims of family violence and sexual assault
- Witnesses with communication difficulties, or with English as a second language.
What does the mnemonic ADVOKATES stand for?
A- Amount of time under observation
K- Known or seen before
A- Any reason to remember
T- Time lapse
E- Error or material discrepancy
When should you consider using a support person for a witness interview?
- The witness is under the age of 18
- Has communication difficulty
- Is showing signs of trauma
- Is a victim of sexual assault
- Fears intimidation
- Uses language other than English as their first language
- Is a victim or witness to a serious offence
- Is closely related to the suspect.
Who does an appropriate support person need to be?
- Someone who is an adult, over 18 years old
- Someone who is not a suspect or witness in the matter under investigation
- Someone you believe will not attempt to pervert the course of justice
- Someone who is available within a reasonable period of time.
Who are some appropriate support people we you can use?
- Parent or caregiver
- Family member
- Close friend
- Mental health worker
- Support counsellor
What is the definition of a suspect?
A suspect, in relation to an offence, means any person whom it is believed has or may have committed that offence, whether or not:
- that person has been charged with that offence; or
- there is good cause to suspect that person of having committed that offence.
Guideline 1 of the Chief Justice's Practice Note on Police Questing states that police can question anyone who they think may have useful information but may not suggest that it is compulsory for them to answer questions.
What does this mean?
- You may ask questions of any person to assist with inquiries
- You cannot compel a person to answer questions if they refuse or imply that they must answer your questions. The principle is an absolute even if you are requesting a name and address. The only exception is when a statute specifies an authority to do so e.g. S113 of the LT Act 1998
When you are going to interview a suspect when should you give them their caution rights?
Whenever a member of police has sufficient evidence to charge a person with an offence or whenever a member of the police seeks to question a person in custody, the person must be given the caution/rights before being invited to make a statement or answer any questions.
Prior to questioning a suspect what must you explain to them with regards to the reason for the questioning?
You must fairly inform the suspect of what they are being interviewed about and the type of charge they may face. This means you cannot minimise the seriousness of the charges they may face.
When should you repeat the caution/rights?
- If the advice was given before the suspect was arrested or detained, it must be repeated when the suspect is arrested or detained
- After a lengthy break in interview
- When interviewing them about an unrelated offence or the circumstances of the offence change.
Police conduct interviews using the PEACE interviewing framework, what does PEACE stand for?
P - Planning and preparation
E - Engage and explain
A - Account, probe, challenge
C - Closure
E - Evaluation
Your attitude to the suspect is a major contributing factor to how they respond. You should remain professional at all times, how you can do this?
- Treat the suspect with dignity and respect
- Keep an open mind
- Be patient
- Empathise with their position
- Do not be judgemental, your role is to find the truth of the matter under investigation.
What are the steps you should take if the suspect you are wanting to interview elects to speak with a lawyer?
1 - If they don't have a lawyer or their lawyer is unavailable, give them the list of duty lawyers available. Ask them to select a lawyer.
2 - Phone the lawyer and explain the current situation and reason for the interview.
3 - Leave the suspect alone to speak with the lawyer in private.
If you wish to speak with someone but they are not being detained or arrested what should you do?
Gain informed consent, ask them to accompany you to the police station and make sure they understand they do not have to and they are free to leave at any time.
When conducting an interview and you take a break, what should you do to ensure continuity for the recording?
- When ever you take a break, state the time and the reason for the break before leaving the room
- When recommencing the interview, state the time and any relevant dialogue or events occurring during the break and ask the suspect to confirm your description of what happened during the break.
What should you do if a suspect volunteers information about unrelated offending during the interview?
- Continue with the interview and advise them their information will be discussed later
- Take care not imply or infer that the information they've given, or may give, could have a bearing on the present interview. There must be no suggestion, implied or otherwise, that any promise or inducement has been held out to the suspect.
You must comply with regulation 107 of the Corrections Regulations 2005 if you want to interview anyone in the custody of the Department of Corrections. What must you do to comply during the pre-interview phase?
- Contact the Prison Manager to gain agreement for an interview with the suspect, and arrange an appropriate time and room.
- If necessary, arrange for portable interviewing equipment so you can video record the interview.
What must you do to comply during the interview phase?
- On arrival at the prison and in the presence of a Corrections Officer explain to the suspect their caution and rights.
- Fairly inform them of the reason for the interview and request their consent to being interviewed.
- If the suspect consents to an interview, inform them that they may choose to have a Correction Officer remain in sight during the interview (If you prefer, you may also request that the Corrections Officer remains in sight).
- If neither party wish to have the Corrections Officer present, arrange for them to be contactable by ether of you at all times during the interview.
- Inform the suspect that they may end the interview at any time.
Suspects have the right to have their lawyer present when being interviewed. If a suspect has their lawyer with them in interview make sure you do not let the lawyer do what?
- Answer questions on behalf of their client
- Put words in the mouth of the suspect
- Introduce irrelevant matters
- Give you instructions or interfere with or obstruct the interview.
If a lawyer starts behaving inappropriately during an interview, what are the three steps you should take?
1 - Politely refer them back to their role as covered at the beginning of the interview. If appropriate, ask them if they would like to speak to their client in private.
2 - If they continue to behave inappropriately warn them that if they continue you will have to stop the interview and they will be asked to leave.
3 - If in appropriate behaviour continues, stop the interview, removed them from the interview room and inform a supervisor. Provide the suspect with an opportunity to engage another lawyer.
It is preferred by the Chief Justice Practice Note 5 that police video record suspect interviews but sometimes only a written statement is obtained, what two reason would you have to only take a written statement instead of a video interview?
1 - It is impractical to video or audio record the interview, or,
2 - The suspect refuses to go on video or audio but consents to a written statement.
Sometimes you will have to take a notebook statement, when is a notebook statement the best option for suspect interview?
When it is impractical to conduct a formal interview or when the offence is minor in nature.