Interviewing Tips | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses | Tip # 27
Interviewing Victims and Witnesses
Interviewing tips taught to many investigators during their initial training is unfortunately severely lacking. Interviewing victims and witnesses is THE most important thing you will ever do as an investigator. In a prominent study conducted by the Rand Corporation many years ago provided an important interviewing tip. The interviews of victims and witnesses is one of the most important steps to clearing any case. That is however if you are using an effective interviewing style. Now, nearly 3 decades later our training academies may still be short changing our investigators by not giving attention to this critical skill.
The vast majority of interviewing tips offered in interviewing and interrogation training courses focus heavily on the element of spotting deception in the victim or witness’s behavior. They do not focus on getting information and how to avoid contaminating statements. To complicate the situation even further, most interviewing and interrogation training courses offering interviewing tips of spotting deception. The problem is that the great majority of verbal and nonverbal cues identified as deception in these interviewing and interrogation courses have been proven wrong.
Unfortunately, during interviewing and interrogation training, little emphasis is on interviewing tips and techniques that have been proven to be effective. Many victim and witness interviews uncover little of the information victims and witnesses possess. Most tactics taught and used are even counter-productive. The result is often statements that have been contaminated by the interviewer’s efforts. Those same tactics also do little gain cooperation and compliance from victims and witnesses nor take into account the strong emotional and cognitive reactions they may be experiencing.
Watch Interviewing Tip # 27 | Interviewing Victims and Witnesses of 101 Tips for Interviewing and Interrogation to Learn More.