Securing reliable information in investigative interviews: Coercive and noncoercive strategies preceding turning points

Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Natalie Martschuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Investigative interviewers apply a range of physical, cognitive, social or legalistic strategies to secure information from suspects. The perceived effectiveness of coercive and noncoercive strategies on turning points was examined by interviewing 34 practitioners and 30 high value detainees in East Asian and Western jurisdictions. Each recounted an interview with an initially uncooperative detainee who became cooperative, or an initially cooperative detainee who became resistant or silent. Analyses of interview narratives identified perceived turning points in the practitioner-suspect relationship associated with clear outcomes. Independent of jurisdiction, 56% of the noncoercive strategies were associated with cooperation, yielding reliable information in 49.4% and true admissions in 20.0% of the cases. In contrast, coercive strategies were perceived as more ineffective (58.9%) than effective (14.6%) in securing information. Physical coercion, intimidation and deception were most frequently acknowledged to yield false information. These findings suggested prioritisation of noncoercive social and physical interview strategies and international consensus on best practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-171
Number of pages20
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Volume21
Issue number2
Early online date17 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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