This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.
Investigation is a core duty of policing. Interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects is central to the success of an investigation and the highest standards need to be upheld.
Forces need to develop and maintain the valuable resource of a skilled interviewer. Interviews that are conducted professionally and quality assured realise several benefits. In particular, they can:
- direct an investigation and gather material, which in turn can lead to a prosecution or early release of an innocent person
- support the prosecution case, thereby saving time, money and resources
- increase public confidence in the police service, particularly with witnesses and victims of crimes who come into direct contact with the police
Without the accounts of those who played a central role in the crime, or those who have witnessed an important aspect of the commission of a crime, other sources of material such as CCTV images, fingerprints and forensic material, although extremely important, may have little value.
Conducting investigative interviews is, therefore, a crucial element of the process of investigation.