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Police learn advanced witness interviewing techniques 10 January 2008

WORLD renowned criminal justice lecturer Dr Becky Milne has developed a week-long training course on advanced witness interviewing processes for Island police officers.

Seven officers are benefiting from the course being staged on the Island this week.

Head of the Force Major Investigation Team, Detective Inspector Keith Kinrade, explained:

‘The course has been arranged as part of our Detective Development Programme and is a Tier 3 (the highest level) Advanced Witness Interviewing Course. Dr Milne is the principal lecturer at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at Portsmouth University and a leading expert in her field.
‘The presentation she delivered on Monday concerned the interviewing processes for witnesses and victims of crime. The Enhanced Cognitive Interviewing model, as developed by Fisher and Geiselman 1984, is now trained nationally at an advanced level in England, Wales and Ireland by Dr Milne. She gave an alternative method of interviewing which relies on the creation of an environment where information is maximised without the loss of accuracy in detail. This method of interviewing develops the skill base of officers who are tasked with professionally and sensitively interviewing co-operative witnesses.’

Dr Milne left the Island on Tuesday (January 8) but her national trainer Steve Croft is continuing the coaching until Friday (January 11). Part of the course involves reviewing previous interviewing methods and discusses the problems and pitfalls associated with poor interview techniques. It will also cover the environmental and memory processes that are associated with good practice.

DI Kinrade said:

‘Dr Milne revealed that the Isle of Man Constabulary were the first enforcement organisation to invite representatives from both sides of the judicial process to attend the introductory seminar explaining the new processes. We’re pleased to continue to work with our partners in the criminal justice system and that representatives who were able to attend welcomed our multi-agency approach.’

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle said:

‘Bringing leading experts such as Dr Milne to explain the latest investigative techniques to our officers can only benefit the Island’s community in terms of further enhancing the professionalism of the constabulary, specifically in this case, by adopting the world’s best practice in terms of the investigative processes used for interviewing witnesses to serious crimes.’

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