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Investigative Interviewing: Best Practice in Questioning Witnesses and Suspects

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the skills necessary to conduct an effective investigative interview, explains the structure of an investigative interview, and introduces a model of interviewing that has been given the acronym 'PEACE'. The acronym PEACE is derived from the first letters of the following terms: preparation and planning; engage and explain; account, clarification, and challenge; closure; and evaluation. Preparing for an interview gives an opportunity to review the investigation, establish what evidence is available and decide what is to be achieved from the interview. A person being interviewed must be given the opportunity to provide the fullest account that he or she is able or willing to provide. Three approaches that assist this process are allowing interviewees to provide their own uninterrupted accounts; encouraging interviewees to expand and clarify their accounts; and, where necessary, challenging interviewees' accounts.

Keywords: investigative interviewing; PEACE model; police agencies; questioning witnesses



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