JSB284 Lecture Six Notes
Interview and Interrogation
What is an Interview?
An investigative interview is a conversation from which the investigator hopes to obtain certain information
which is relevant to a particular case.
Typically used when initially interviewing a complainant or witness.
The purpose of this kind of interview is to generate information to develop a ‘crime story’.
What is an Interrogation?
An interrogation differs from an interview in that it is a process by which an individual (usually a suspect) is
questioned about their involvement in the criminal activity which provides the focus for the investigation.
The purpose of an interrogation is to determine if the person is guilty of the crime and in doing so, may
require the accusation of the suspect and asking probing questions.
Key difference between interviews and interrogations:
Purpose is to test information which has already
Purpose is to obtain initial information. been obtained.
Minimal or no pre-interview legal requirement; Extensive pre-interrogation legal requirements;
no warning of rights. warning of rights must be given.
Cooperative relationship between the Adversarial or hostile relationship between
interviewer and interviewee is likely. interviewer and interviewee is likely.
No guilt or guilt uncertain. Guilt is suggested or likely.
Moderate planning or preparation required. Extensive planning and preparation required.
Private or semi-private environment is desirable. Absolute privacy is essential.
Chapter 15 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (PPRA) outlines various provisions around the
questioning of people in relation to indictable offences
What is an indictable offence?
Indictable offences are more serious offences which cannot be heard in the absence of the defendant.
They are usually heard in the Magistrate’s Court for a committal hearing and may then be committed to trial
before a judge in a higher court such as the District or Supreme court.
Types of indictable offences include:
o Aggravated burglary
o Indecent assault
o Drug trafficking offences
What are the protections?
The length of time for questioning is a maximum of 8 hours detention and 4 hours of questioning unless an
extension has been granted.
When obtaining a confession, this must not be done so under threat or promise.
All individuals have the ability to contact a person and have them present during questioning (such as a
family member, friend or lawyer).
There are also particular protections put into place when questioning particular people such as Aboriginal/Torres
Strait Islanders, children, the disabled, foreigners, and those who are under the influence. Cautioning
There are a variety of cautions that police must provide to individuals prior to questioning them.
These are contained Part 5 in the Police Powers and Responsibilities Regulation 2000 and include:
o The right to a support person
o The right to silence
o The right to an interpreter
o The right of foreign nationals to communicate with their embassy
Objectives of an Interrogation
A successful interrogation accomplishes four objectives:
1. Obtaining facts
2. Eliminating the innocent
3. Identifying the guilty
4. Obtaining a confession
Characteristics of a good interviewer
Be different from another;
Behave differently at different times;
Behave differently with different interviewers;
Behave differently in relation to different offences;
Behave differently in different interviews (even with the same interviewer);
Be different in changing environments
Factors to consider
Questioning relies on both verbal and non-verbal cues:
Use of space
There are several ways that a person can be questioned and this will depend on the investigator, the person being
questioned and the nature of the questioning.
o This refers to the types of questions which are most important.
o Open ended questions vs. closed.
o Leading questions.
o Language is also important – avoid emotive words or jargon.
o P = plan and prepare. E = engage and explain. A = account clarification and challenge. C = closure. E =