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Police perceptions of investigative interviewing: training needs and operational practices in Australia

Jade A. Hill (Queensland Police Service, Brisbane, Australia and James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Stephen Moston (Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

The British Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 1463-6646

Article publication date: 18 May 2011




In the last decade, Australia has seen a series of high‐profile criminal cases come under court and public scrutiny due to improper interviewing practices, prompting a need to review and revise training in interviewing skills. This pattern echoes that seen in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. What followed in the UK was a plethora of research examining different aspects of police interviewing. To date, there has been limited research in Australia on interviewing suspects. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into a large sample of current Australian police officers' attitudes and practices regarding investigative interviewing.


This study involved a survey of current police officers from the Queensland Police Service (n=2,769), collecting data on attitudes with current training and supervision, importance of investigative interviewing and operational skills and competence.


These are discussed in relation to the need for further systematic research into police interviews, improved training and the need for law enforcement organisations and agencies in Australia to implement organisational investigative interviewing strategies.


The paper shows that further systematic research is required to examine “operational” investigative interviewing practices (as opposed to perceptions) in Australia. Consideration also needs to be given to the development of investigative interviewing training frameworks that focus on the experience, skills and previous training of each officer. Moreover, interviewing needs to be recognised as a skill requiring regular maintenance, monitoring and evaluation.



Hill, J.A. and Moston, S. (2011), "Police perceptions of investigative interviewing: training needs and operational practices in Australia", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 72-83.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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