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Journal Article


Roberts KA. Br. J. Forensic Pract. 2011; 13(2): 124-134.


(Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing)






Purpose - Police interviews with terrorist suspects are perhaps one of the most challenging interviews a police officer will experience. The purpose of this paper is to explore the social context of these interviews and the impact that this might have upon the way in which police officers carry them out, including the use of robust, even aggressive tactics. Design/methodology/approach - Risks associated with police interview tactics are identified, including obtaining unreliable information, problems with suspect cooperation and the potential impact upon communities including problems with the perceived legitimacy of the police and community cooperation. Findings - Ways of mitigating the risks are considered including improving police officer cultural awareness, a consideration of interview tactics and the use of ethical interview approaches such as the planning and preparation, engage and explain, account, closure, evaluation interview model and conversation management. Originality/value - The impact of the use of ethical interviewing is considered from a procedural justice perspective, and the paper illustrates how this approach may give rise to improved reliability of information from interviews and may impact upon perceptions of police legitimacy from communities.


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