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How the UK Police Interview Suspects

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How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by Keitei on Sun 1 Oct - 21:34

https://www.innocenceproject.org/how-the-uk-police-interview-suspects/

By Dr. Andy Griffiths – Detective Superintendent, Sussex Police, UK


The history of how suspects are questioned in the UK and US are similar up to the last 30 years. Now the UK does things very differently. I am a detective superintendent with 28 years experience, and when I talk about interviewing it’s from both a practical and theoretical perspective. I have studied the subject extensively, but my biggest interest is in what works—in terms of making police officers better at solving crimes, but also preventing false confessions and miscarriages.


The watershed for the UK came in 1984 when a new law was passed governing how suspects were to be questioned. The new law, known as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) included, amongst other changes, mandated audio recording of all suspect interviews, the right to legal representation for suspects and limits on detention before charge. PACE resulted from growing judicial and public criticism of police conduct when dealing with suspects, most notably arising from the mid-1970s cases of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four. These were two groups of suspects arrested for terrorist attacks on the UK mainland whose confessions formed the basis of cases against them, and which were later found to have been coerced by physical and psychological abuse. Eventually, the convictions were quashed. Much like in America, the system didn’t want to accept that the police misbehaved in such cases, because, first of all, that would mean that you couldn’t trust the police, and secondly, it would mean that the real offenders were still out there.


The recording of all police interviews showed that many officers were, contrary to popular belief, unskilled as interviewers. Many officers went into the interview room assuming guilt. It’s incredibly damaging to suggestive subjects if they know the officer doesn’t believe them. But also it means that as an interviewer, you only listen to certain parts of the evidence. You ignore things that don’t fit with your script. If there’s strong evidence in a case, that’s your best chance of getting a charge – quite simple really.


Senior police leaders recognized that officers needed to be trained, so they devised a program called PEACE with the help of psychologists. The week-long course, which also covered interviewing witnesses, was undertaken by every operational officer in the country. In the UK, unlike the USA, there is a high degree of cooperation and standardization between all forces. The training was a massive commitment, but it has helped avoid miscarriages, and it delivers better justice. Research studies and practical evaluations have also consistently shown higher skill levels and more objective approaches by officers. It is now accepted that not all officers will make good interviewers. PEACE has developed into several tiers of training linked to an officer’s field of work and identified potential.


 Police in the UK don’t see interviewing as a secret process, and we don’t feel the need to hide interview techniques. The law does not allow lying to suspects, under any circumstances. Officers are trained to concentrate on probing a suspect’s account, seeking to confirm or negate by comparison with other known information. When the suspect knows that I can’t lie—my job is on the line if I do—I get more information.


 It’s taken over a decade, but now I’m confident that you can come into my police force and any other police force in the UK and ask any officer “What is the point of an interview?” and they will not say “a confession.” That shift has caused a chain reaction in investigation because now investigators are looking for reliable information when they investigate. They’re not looking to find the likely suspect and turn the whole thing onto them. They’re looking to exclude all other options leaving the one. It doesn’t always work, but that is the approach.

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by Verdi on Mon 2 Oct - 0:02

Being one who relies heavily on human instinct, I'm very critical of in-house training.  The UK police, like so many other professions, have been forced into some sort of academic institution that totally distorts their true purpose and thus jeopardizes the function and effectiveness of the police network.

As an outsider, I feel a great deal of empathy for the police force over past decades.  They are prevented from doing their job because of the many influences that dictate how they operate - it must make their lives extremely difficult and frustrating to have their hands tied behind their backs because of police protocol.  Look no further than Goncalo Amaral's situation - not British admittedly but nonetheless under similar restraints.

The suspects and/or witnesses are so well protected by the confines of the law, how can the police force effectively operate.   The police are treated with disrespect, abuse and false accusations - all of which is beyond their control because of the law.  The law they are supposedly representing.  They are human beings not automatons, why should they be expected to take the kicks without retaliation.  In a pub brawl if you're kicked you kick back, you don't allow the attacker to keep kicking without physically defending yourself - so it should be for the police.

In the interview room the suspect is treated with kid gloves - just as the McCanns were.  They can remain silent, they can respond through a lawyer, they can lie, they can be insolent, it's all permissible for the suspect whilst the copper has to stick to the rules laid out by policing protocol.

There is a thin line between protecting witnesses and the suspect whilst in custody and expecting the copper to take the flak unarmed!

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How the Police Interview suspects.

Post by willowthewisp on Mon 2 Oct - 14:56

Verdi wrote:Being one who relies heavily on human instinct, I'm very critical of in-house training.  The UK police, like so many other professions, have been forced into some sort of academic institution that totally distorts their true purpose and thus jeopardizes the function and effectiveness of the police network.

As an outsider, I feel a great deal of empathy for the police force over past decades.  They are prevented from doing their job because of the many influences that dictate how they operate - it must make their lives extremely difficult and frustrating to have their hands tied behind their backs because of police protocol.  Look no further than Goncalo Amaral's situation - not British admittedly but nonetheless under similar restraints.

The suspects and/or witnesses are so well protected by the confines of the law, how can the police force effectively operate.   The police are treated with disrespect, abuse and false accusations - all of which is beyond their control because of the law.  The law they are supposedly representing.  They are human beings not automatons, why should they be expected to take the kicks without retaliation.  In a pub brawl if you're kicked you kick back, you don't allow the attacker to keep kicking without physically defending yourself - so it should be for the police.

In the interview room the suspect is treated with kid gloves - just as the McCanns were.  They can remain silent, they can respond through a lawyer, they can lie, they can be insolent, it's all permissible for the suspect whilst the copper has to stick to the rules laid out by policing protocol.

There is a thin line between protecting witnesses and the suspect whilst in custody and expecting the copper to take the flak unarmed!
Hi Verdi,I agree that the Police have a very difficult job in under taking their roles as Police Officers in an ever changing environment,that our Politicians invoke them to undertake as Police Officers.
As per paragraph 3,yes the suspect is granted certain exclusions on what they are required to provide to assist the Police with their Investigation processes?
But bare in mind that over the years certain rights under the Law have been turned on their Heads,that now if you choose to not answer Police questions,"You cannot then use as part of your Defence"later on if brought to Trail?
So you face being found guilty by your silence on something you cannot relate to or fail to answer until at Court?

Perhaps it would assist both parts of this process if what they are determined to have happened under the process of uncovering the Truth,this could only happen if Both sides are Truthful in the evidence they submit?
It is only when the,"Police Truth test"(One Sided) until the CPS are brought in has to carry on the Investigation to determine the evidence fails pr passes,the first process?  If for instance"certain questions"are asked that only certain parties would know the answers to questions are relevant,you could then ascertain how much the other person side is being honest in their answers submitted?
It is quite different to the Learned question and answer cessations that Normal people are required to answer,especially when actual Police Statements were knowingly,fabricated,altered by the other side,Birmingham Six and renowned CID offices were well rehearsed to continue to try to convict innocent people for Murders they never committed,Timothy Evans, the Film"Let him have it Chris"?
Once,when one side chooses to which way to proceed then determines most outcomes,where the"Benefit Of Doubt"which determines English Law is based on,either leads to Trails of Prosecutions or they remain,"Not Proven" in Scottish Law,but there still can remain a claim of"Innocence" until it is proved otherwise?

At one time it is was only when you "Crossed the Boundaries" to higher commitments of Criminal Activity that Police used the Full Force of Law and Order,but in today's World where aspects of Policing have dramatically changed is the Use or Misuse of the Law being used to "Raise Funds" illegal parking,they then have the Police park on a road PNC Check etc and the agents confiscate your vehicle for outstanding fines?
This then leads into the very Nasty procession of bailiffes under Civil Law obtaining access into peoples abode,lawfully,where then the Police are called out to stop a"Breach Of The Peace",where the Police often stand assisting the Agents of the state to  facilitate them selves to your possessions from the original fines,now escalating into Thousands of Pounds,with the"Good Old Excuse"well if you would have paid the fines,we wouldn't be here today assisting the agents,when at times,they issued the fines in the first place?
This is what the So Called"Civilised State"hides behind the monster they have created to control the masses,subsidising your own Police forces after paying your taxes?
Take a look at most Local Authority roles on the issuing of fines for dropping Litter,now cigarettes or cigarette papers,that's£60.00 please sir/madam,ker ching?
PS,you also find that "Litter Squads,Wardens"have an higher activity targeting in more affluent parts of the Boroughs,as they know most people will at least tell them to,Jog On in a polite tone,wherbye the issuing of a public order section 5 now,Sir/madam?

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by JRP on Mon 2 Oct - 16:28

Liverpool for some time has cracked down on dropping litter, I think it started with chewing gum which costs a lot of money to remove from pavements. They now employ a growing litter squad to issue £80 fines to anyone caught dropping litter, cigarette butts etc.
It's been a controversial move, but, if you don't drop litter, you don't get a fine!

The reason PACE was brought in was because "suspects" were being fitted up by our wonderful police, and that is why interviews are recorded, and why we citizens have the rights which we have now.

Same reason, if you don't fit people up for crimes they didn't do, you'd have a bit more freedom to be real police.

When I was a teen, around 18, my friend who was also 18, had a friend called Andy, who was around 20-ish, he lived a few miles away. The plan was for Andy to pick us up in his car, and drive us to Liverpool for a night out.
Andy turned up in a Hillman Imp, and we stopped en-route for a drink. Andy left, and was waiting outside the pub door in his car.
A quick look at this car, and it was pretty obvious that this was a different Hillman Imp to the one we arrived in.

Andy had a set of keys, and we fell out that night, because I woudn't get in a stolen car.
However, months later, Andy was caught by the police, he went to jail, but he got a lenient sentence because he agreed to have other thefts taken into consideration.

That meant, he agreed to admit to car thefts he hadn't done, which cleared old car crimes from the police logs, in return they spoke up for him.

Now, all that does is let the real thief carry on stealing cars, and a lazy copper looks a lot more astute than he/she really is.

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by Get'emGonçalo on Tue 3 Oct - 11:35

The reason PACE was brought in, and interviews were recorded, and are now video recorded, and officers wear body cams, and there is CCTV in cell blocks . . .
 - is so that Lawyers can no longer invent accusations about “suspects’ being "fitted up”, and of police brutality - remember that favourite chant of the left - in an attempt to get their darling clients off.
Since body cams were introduced the number of complaints against police have dropped by 93%.   Even the Guardian admits this !
Defence solicitors are crying champagne into their caviar !


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/29/police-with-body-cameras-receive-93-fewer-complaints-study

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by Verdi on Tue 3 Oct - 12:33

The law needs to be turned upside down - thoroughly stripped of all the accessories collected over centuries and laid bare.

A court of law has one and only one purpose - innocent or guilty.  It should never be about winning and losing or fattening the bank balance.

Anybody who thinks the law is a fair institution need to think again.  It is a corrupt multi-million dollar enterprise that thinks nothing of the people it represents.

A neighbour of mine is a lawyer.  He is an ostentatious, pig ignorant specimen of  humanity who displays his professional success by cruising around in a very luxurious top of the range Jaguar.  All paid for by his clients - many who are extremely poor.

Bah!  The law is an ass who should be kicked up the ass.

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How the Police Interview suspects.

Post by willowthewisp on Tue 3 Oct - 14:42

Get'emGonçalo wrote:The reason PACE was brought in, and interviews were recorded, and are now video recorded, and officers wear body cams, and there is CCTV in cell blocks . . .
 - is so that Lawyers can no longer invent accusations about “suspects’ being "fitted up”, and of police brutality - remember that favourite chant of the left - in an attempt to get their darling clients off.
Since body cams were introduced the number of complaints against police have dropped by 93%.   Even the Guardian admits this !
Defence solicitors are crying champagne into their caviar !


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/29/police-with-body-cameras-receive-93-fewer-complaints-study

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Hi GGG,but which came first the beatings and Framing's of the supects or the CCTV,which you have already answered,which shows certain elements where practising in Beatings and framing?
But what we do not know is on a percentage scale some of these events have happened,I know that from a personnel experience of a Family member,who was severely beaten up by the Police and who they tied to Frame?

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by JRP on Tue 3 Oct - 14:45

Peter Mac

There is good and bad in every profession and in all walks of life, solicitors and police are no exception.

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by Get'emGonçalo on Tue 3 Oct - 15:19

From PeterMac

Agreed
However on those statistics 93% of those solicitors were bad, and even if all of the 7% of cases were found proven, that is only 7% of officers.

One of the last cases I oversaw involved test purchases of vast amounts of drugs, through the open window of a car - into the lens of a video camera !
The interviews lasted three minutes, two of which were allowed the “suspect” and his solicitor to watch the film.
“No Comment” followed by handing over the charge sheet.
They all pleaded Guilty, and some got 15 years.

NOT ONE COMPLAINT against any officer !

We hoped that the days of the rogue solicitor were numbered.  They are still around of course, aiding and abetting dodgy conveyancing deals, mortgage fraud, and money laundering not to mention facilitating fraudulent activites of other sorts . . .
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How the Police Interview suspects.

Post by willowthewisp on Tue 3 Oct - 16:16

Get'emGonçalo wrote:From PeterMac

Agreed
However on those statistics 93% of those solicitors were bad, and even if all of the 7% of cases were found proven, that is only 7% of officers.

One of the last cases I oversaw involved test purchases of vast amounts of drugs, through the open window of a car - into the lens of a video camera !
The interviews lasted three minutes, two of which were allowed the “suspect” and his solicitor to watch the film.
“No Comment” followed by handing over the charge sheet.
They all pleaded Guilty, and some got 15 years.

NOT ONE COMPLAINT against any officer !

We hoped that the days of the rogue solicitor were numbered.  They are still around of course, aiding and abetting dodgy conveyancing deals, mortgage fraud, and money laundering not to mention facilitating fraudulent activites of other sorts . . .
Hi Petermac,GGG,Do you wish to include the Undercover Police Officers when on Operation to protect the Queen and family in obtaining funds by deception,drug taking and procurement of mortgages,fraudulent activities or just Criminals from the other underworld,a crime is a Crime isn't it,it doesn't decipher who they are does it?

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Re: How the UK Police Interview Suspects

Post by JRP on Tue 3 Oct - 19:16

To be fair, I knew a dodgy solicitor, Peter Mac, and his crime was money related. A nice guy, who made a mistake and did his time, came out and made a new life doing something else.

And while most of the crimes you point out solicitors usually commit are about money laundering, mortgage fraud etc, I would say, it's not as bad as giving a person 15 years in jail for a crime they didn't do as Stephan Kiszko was given, or the life sentence handed to Barry George. Those body cams didn't work then did they!
Those are high profile crimes we all know about, which makes me wonder how many go unnoticed.

Money crime is meaningless in comparison to fitting people up for murders which they didn't commit.

The only solicitor I know involved in the Madeleine McCann case has paid a price for trying to unearth the truth, silenced by shills, while Operation Grange has fritted away more money than a money launderer would clear in a thousand lifetimes.

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Ref,How Suspects are interviewed

Post by willowthewisp on Wed 4 Oct - 15:33

JRP wrote:To be fair, I knew a dodgy solicitor, Peter Mac, and his crime was money related. A nice guy, who made a mistake and did his time, came out and made a new life doing something else.

And while most of the crimes you point out solicitors usually commit are about money laundering, mortgage fraud etc, I would say, it's not as bad as giving a person 15 years in jail for a crime they didn't do as Stephan Kiszko was given, or the life sentence handed to Barry George. Those body cams didn't work then did they!
Those are high profile crimes we all know about, which makes me wonder how many go unnoticed.

Money crime is meaningless in comparison to fitting people up for murders which they didn't commit.

The only solicitor I know involved in the Madeleine McCann case has paid a price for trying to unearth the truth, silenced by shills, while Operation Grange has fritted away more money than a money launderer would clear in a thousand lifetimes.
Well said JRP,Yes Mr Antony Bennett one of Carter Rucks finest moments,when even their own barristers had to admit in the"High Court" they were acting on"What their clients had Told Them"?  so where would that leave Mr Bennett in any future legal action if it is proven that certain persons had been"Economical with the Actualite"aka Alan Clarke?

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