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Interviewing and Interrogation

Interviewing and Interrogation

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Interviewing and Interrogation

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  1. Interviewing and Interrogation By M. Tariq RustamChohan SSP PHP Lahore

  2. Sequence • Introduction • Interview and interrogation_ definitions, similarities & differences • Steps involved in interview and interrogation • Interview: • Factors affecting info-gathering process • Qualifications of interviewer • Traits of a good interviewer • Things to be determined before interview • Types of witnesses

  3. Contd…. • Types of emotional reactions • Rules for conducting successful interview • Guidelines for concluding the interview • Methods of documenting the interview • Interrogation: • Confession and admission • Qualities of successful interrogator • Things an interrogator need to learn while preparing • Manipulation and controlling interrogation • Various approaches to interrogation • Rules for composing question for interrogation • Signals of deception and defense mechanisms • Things that should be included in written statement • Why some interrogations fail

  4. Definitions • Interview : An interview is non-accusatory process used to obtain information from a witness or victim. The process includes inter-personal skills, sincerity and empathy and is designed to elicit who , what , when, where, how and why information in such a way as to build a case against the accused. • Interrogation: Interrogation is a process designed to obtain information of an incriminating nature from a suspect. This process also includes inter-personal skills and is designed to elicit who, what , when, where, how and why information in such a way as to build a case against the accused.

  5. Interview and InterrogationSimilarities & Differences Interrogations • Planning critical • Controlling surroundings critical • Absolute privacy essential • Establishing rapport important • Careful listening • Proper documentation Interviews • Planning important • Controlling surroundings important • Privacy or semi privacy desirable • Establishing rapport important • Careful listening • Proper documentation

  6. Contd…… • Purpose is to obtain information • Minimal or no pre-interview legal requirements; no rights warning • Cooperative relationship between interviewer and subject likely • No guilt or guilt uncertain • Moderate planning or preparation • Purpose to test information already obtained • Extensive pre-interrogation legal requirements; rights warning required • Adversarial or hostile relationship between interviewer and subject likely • Guilt suggested or likely • Extensive planning preparation

  7. Steps Involved


  9. Factors Affecting Info-Gathering Process • Degree of cooperation of the victim or witness • Perceptive ability of the victim or witness • Emotional state of the victim or witness • Skill of the investigator

  10. Qualifications of Interviewer • Investigative knowledge • Ability to interpret non-verbal indicators like body language, posture and attitude • Ability to establish rapport with interview subject

  11. Traits of a Good Interviewer • Attitude • Posture • Eye contact • Facial expression • Tone of voice

  12. Traits of a Good Interviewer

  13. Things to be Determined Before Interview • Nature of the crime • Identity and background of the victim or witness • Emotional state of the victim or witness • Names of all parties involved • File search on victim • Timing e.g. early or delayed • Location for interview • Atmosphere • Privacy • Elimination of physical barrier

  14. Types of Witnesses • Honest and cooperative witness • Silent and uninterested witness • Reluctant or suspicious witness • Hostile and deceitful witness • Timid or bashful witness • Talkative or boastful witness • Under-the-influence witness

  15. Types of Emotional Reactions • Denying an emotionally shocking or painful experience • Extreme frustration (towards self, others, and/or police) • Hesitation to blame the criminal

  16. Rules for Conducting Successful Interview • Get acquainted with the victim or witness • Develop rapport with the victim or witness • Motivate the victim or witness to cooperate • Listen to the victim or witness • Keep the victim or witness talking • Make the most out of long pauses • Use open-ended questions • Avoid leading and rapid-fire questions

  17. Guidelines for Concluding the Interview • Close the conversation in a courteous and friendly manner and tell the victim/witness that the valuable service he/she has performed is appreciated. • Thank the victim or witness for his/her cooperation and show concern by asking whether assistance is needed in returning home or to work. • Assure victim/witness that participation in the criminal justice system is not a negative experience.

  18. Methods of Documenting the Interview • Relying on memory • Note taking by the interviewer • Handwritten or signed statement by a victim or witness • Audio and video recording


  20. Confession and Admission • Confession: A confession is defined as an acknowledgement by a suspect that he/she has committed a crime. It includes an acknowledgement of the commission of all the element of the crime and the person’s involvement in the commission. A confession will sometimes be accompanied by a suspect’s account of how he/she actually planned and committed the crime. A confession may be motivated by remorse and a desire to clear one’s conscience. • Admission: An admission is an acknowledgement by the suspect of certain factsthat tend to incriminate him/her with respect to a particular crime, but which are not sufficiently complete to constitute a confession. A suspect may, for example, mention that he/she was driving a friend’s car the day the robbery was committed and not know that the police already have a full description of the car and its tag number. Therefore, his/her admission of driving the car is incriminating information. Usually an admission evolves because the suspect gives information that ties in with other incriminating evidence that the police already have.

  21. Qualities of Successful Interrogator • Persuasiveness • Perseverance • Ability to subdue all personal prejudices • Ability to be receptive to all information, regardless of its nature • Flexibility in responding to suspect’s moods

  22. Things an Interrogator Need to Learn While Preparing • Learning about the crime committed • Learning about the victim • Learning about the suspect

  23. Manipulation and Controlling Interrogation • Setting: • The need for privacy and quiet • Physical setup • No physical barriers • Use of Props • Evaluating the suspect: • Physiological changes • Emotional stability and culturally rooted behavior • Controlling the suspect • Human dignity issues e.g. breaks and food

  24. Contd…. • Acceptable manipulation • Withholding of smoking rights • Controlling the number of cigarettes allowed • Directing the suspect to sit • Deciding whether to grant the suspect special requests e.g. keep separate from other prisoners etc.

  25. Various Approaches to Interrogation • Logical approach • Used with educated, mature adults having previous criminal records • Over whelming evidence should be available • Emotional approach • Used with first time offenders who committed crime in anger or passion or carelessness • Appeal is made to suspects honor, decency, morality, family pride etc.

  26. Rules for Composing Question for Interrogation • Question should be short, direct arid confined to one topic • Question must be clear and easily understood • Only words that the suspect can understand should be used • Avoid using legal terms, such as burglary and robbery, in questions • Unless it is intended, accusatory questions should be avoided • Question should be open-ended e.g. and, then , what happened?

  27. Types of questions of interrogation • Opening questions • Free narrative questions • Direct questions • Cross-questioning • Review questions

  28. Techniques of Interrogation • Suggestibility: Willingness to accept suggestion, sleep deprivation, drugs like sodium amytal, thiopental • Deception: Incriminating statements, • Good cop, bad cop:Opposing approaches, Bad cop: Negative stance , aggressive, blatant accusation and threats Good cop: Sympathetic, understanding , soft and supportive Works on naive, young, frightened, first timers

  29. Contd… • Pride and ego down:Attacking the subject sense of personal worth and in an attempt to redeem his pride the subject will involuntarily provide pertinent information. • Torture:Enhanced interrogation techniques • Yelling • Loud music, and light control • Environmental manipulation • Sleep deprivation/adjustment • Stress position • 20-hours interrogation • Controlled fear (muzzled dogs)

  30. Signals of Deception and Defense Mechanisms • Verbal Signals of Deception • Stuttering or slurring words • A change in the speed of talking • Abnormally slow speech that suggest a careful planning of each word to avoid incriminating statement • An unusually high pitch or cracking of the voice • Use of expletives, profanity, or insistent expression of truth e.g. to be perfectly honest or truthfully.

  31. Non-Verbal Signals of Deception • Physical signals • Facial expressions • Eye contact • Body Posture • Others e.g. Sweating, dry mouth, wringing of hands, nail biting. • Behavioral signals • Evasive and non-committal in their answer • Unconcerned, acting as though the interrogation is no big deal • Guarded, giving only the briefest of details • Quick to rationalize e.g.” I couldn’t have done this because…”

  32. Commonly Used Defences • Rationalization • Projecting blames on others • Minimization

  33. Why Some Interrogations Fail Don’t lose heart or patience if the suspect does not confess, someday, somehow, somewhere he will tell somebody