Traditional Structured, and Inferential Interviewing with Statement Analysis Techniques
Information typically comes from multiple sources that must be approached to determine their willingness to provide information.
Identify the Sources Side-tracker
One who falsely claims involvement as a witness or suspect to a crime
Identify the Sources Complainant
A person who reports a crime or accuses another of an offense
Victim or witness
Traditional Interviewing: Just-the-facts approach
Use for witness evaluation
To obtain emergency response information
For field interviewing with limited time
Guidelines for Traditional Interviewing
Ask questions to answer in any order
What, who, when, where, why, how
What offense was committed?
What weapon was used?
What was said?
What did the eyewitness hear or see?
Avoid leading questions
Avoid sounding accusatory
Determine the Actus reus
Actus reus is a term which means the “guilty act”
Is the act a violation of the law?
Has a crime been committed?
What is the nature of the offense
Who is involved?
Who is the victim?
Who is the perpetrator?
Who are the witnesses?
Get names, addresses, telephone numbers and physical descriptions
Find out if there any family relationships
Obtain prior record information
Search records for outstanding warrants
When did this incident occur?
When was the event reported?
When did injuries occur?
When did the injured seek medical attention?
Is the incident still ongoing?
How old or new is the complaint?
Has this type of offense ever occurred against the victim in the past?
Where was the location of the incident?
Where did the event begin and where did it end?
Where were the witnesses located in relation to the offense?
Determine the jurisdiction of the crime
Does the event cross multiple jurisdictions?
How were the witnesses located to accurately view or hear what they report?
Were there indications of force or forced entry?
Why did this occur?
What is the reason or goal of the act?
Was the activity something that the person should have known would bring consequences?
Was the behavior one that increases the risk of harm?
A failure to act where a duty of care exists
Establish the mens rea
Refers to the state of mind of the perpetrator, not the victim
How did it happen?
How was the victim approached?
How did the perpetrator gain access?
How often has a similar even occurred?
Include information leading up to the event and after the event
Determine the sequence of events
Conducting the Traditional Interview
Treat all with dignity
Be courteous and professional
Avoid professional jargon
Do not make ANY promises
Never suggest confidentiality
Use sketches & drawings
Use audio or video recording
Exploratory to find out what they know
Use open-ended questions
Avoid leading questions
Ask specific closed-ended questions
Avoid leading questions
Use with an uncooperative person
Determine any source of difficulty
How does Structured Interviewing differ from Traditional Interviewing?
Structured interviewing is a method that builds on the traditional interview by adding three steps
1. Build Rapport
2. Obtain narrative description from non-leading and open questions
3. Allow ample interviewee response time
Structured Interview Components
Incorporate active listening skills
Use of open-ended questions
Appropriate non-verbal behavior
Encourage active participation by the interviewee
Do not interrupt narratives
Record accurately & completely
Inferential Interviewing4 principles to discover dishonesty
Coherency: A statement should make sense by not violating the rules of nature or contradict itself
Response Rate: Deception is associated with shorter response length, a slower rate of speech, and more speech errors (verbal leakage)
Type-Token Ratio: Unique words divided by total words in a statement
Verbal Hedging: verbal techniques used to avoid answering and buy additional processing time
Definition of Statement Analysis
A word-by-word examination of the grammar within a statement
Can be used with any method of interviewing as an assessment of deception
Both written and oral statements can be evaluated
Components of Statement Analysis
Parts of speech
Lack of conviction
Methods for Evaluating the Parts of Speech
Evaluate pronoun, noun, verb, adjective
Establish the norm in the statement
Look for changes to the norm, evaluate why
Example in rape case: My story (noun) has never changed; I would never hurt (verb) the child (adjective), I love (verb) him
Truthful persons provide statements using the pronoun “I”, first person singular
Overuse of “we” indicates a lack of commitment and unwillingness to take responsibility
Example of truthfulness: I woke up and went to school. I met some friends and we went to class together. At noon we all left.
Example of lack of commitment: I woke up. We all met and went to class. We left when the lunch bell rang.
A change in noun use signifies a change in the reality of the suspect
Example of the norm: I loved my baby. I did not mean to hurt my baby, but I drowned her.
Example of a deviation: I loved my baby. I did not mean to hurt my baby, she went under the water and something kept her down.
It is normal to use the first person, singular past tense to recall past events
Change in the tense of the verb signals possible deception
Example of the norm: I saw the shooting I was so scared that I ran as fast as I could
Statements which contain verbs such as “tried” or “started” represent a weakened assertion of the facts
Use of “that” and “those” to refer to a person suggests distancing
Example of the norm: I did not hurt David
Example of a deviation: I did not hurt that child
A truthful statement contains three parts; prior to the event, the event, and afterwards
They should contain roughly the same amount of information
A truthful person will provide these events in a chronological order
Field Statement Analysis
A shortened version of the Statement Analysis
Uses two rather than four components
Lack of conviction
Lack of Conviction
The lack of conviction refers to words that are used to label or change the meaning of something
Frequent “I don’t remember” or “I believe” or “kind of surprised” are suspect
The person who attempts to justify their actions will give extraneous information, statements that does not answer the question
To measure extraneous information count the statement’s total number of lines, identifying which contain unnecessary information
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