Witness interview strategy for critical incidents (WISCI)

Kevin Smith (National Crime Agency, London, UK)
Becky Milne (University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Publication date: 12 November 2018



High-profile critical incidents involving multiple witnesses, particularly terrorist attacks, have increased over the years. The purpose of this paper is to describe the components of a witness interview strategy for this type of investigation. Central to these cases is a need for a triage system which deals with a large number of witness/victim interviews that must be conducted fast time.


This paper was developed based on the experience of the authors who provide practical advice and support to these types of investigations and a dialogue with police interview advisers involved in developing this type of strategy.


A witness interview strategy for critical incidents involving multiple witnesses should be set within a framework that covers initial contact with the witnesses, the interview process and post-interview processes.

Practical implications

It is important that a witness interview strategy is developed for any critical incident involving multiple witnesses to ensure that what could otherwise be a chaotic process is effectively managed.


No other papers have been published that consider the development of witness interview-strategies for multiple-witnesses in critical incidents.



Smith, K. and Milne, B. (2018), "Witness interview strategy for critical incidents (WISCI)", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 268-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-03-2018-0007

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