From Child to Adult Victims and Witnesses: Ways of Improving the Quality of Investigative Interviews

  • Mari-Liis Tohvelmann
  • Kristjan Kask
Keywords: eyewitness testimony, investigative interview, interview skills, question types, computerised methods, serious gaming

Abstract

Witness statements are important piece of evidence in criminal proceedings. Investigative interviews with witnesses are conducted in various stages of the investigative process, and the person conducting the investigative interview must take into account internal and external factors, that influence the quality of witnesses’ statements. The paper gives a systematic overview of the ways of improving the quality of investigative interviews of adult witnesses carried out by investigators, on the basis of a survey of the literature available from continental Europe but also Common Law countries (such as the UK, the US, and Australia). Even though detailed instructions and in-depth training programmes are available, today’s training consists largely of theoretical classroom lectures of a short-term nature that feature minimal practical tasks. Teaching methods of this type are effective in increasing knowledge but fail to transfer the knowledge into practice. Accordingly, the authors found that the training should be more practically oriented, have a longer duration, and incorporate personalised feedback in order to situate the knowledge in practice. In addition, several new computer-based approaches have been developed to help overcome the limitations identified. These provide a more personalised and flexible approach to learning, yet room still exists for further development. The paper concludes by addressing how work in the field of interviewing child and adult witnesses could develop in the future.

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Published
2022-10-25
How to Cite
Tohvelmann, M.-L., & Kask, K. (2022). From Child to Adult Victims and Witnesses: Ways of Improving the Quality of Investigative Interviews. Juridica International, 31, 136-146. https://doi.org/10.12697/JI.2022.31.10
Section
Articles