Investigative interviewing

How the police conduct interviews will have a profound impact on the outcome and fairness of the subsequent criminal proceedings. Fair trial starts at the crime scene and in the interviewing room. Through the introduction of investigative interviewing NCHR seeks to encourage the discontinuation of coercive interrogation techniques, with the aim of preventing torture and averting wrongful convictions. 

Background and Challenges

Interviewing within the larger framework of criminal investigations is a core task in law enforcement. The investigative bodies are bound to respect and protect the inherent dignity and physical and mental integrity of all persons – including victims, witnesses and suspects. Within the human rights framework, the police is in a particularly exposed position. Their performance is key to upholding human rights. During criminal investigations, arrests and interrogations, the risk of committing human rights violations is particularly high.

Victims of wrongful convictions are subject to great suffering inflicted by the state, and the actual perpetrators evade prosecution and conviction. This contributes to undermine the rule of law. Mistreatment of people in custody and coercion of suspects with the aim of making them confess are still commonplace. Whereas outright torture may be the exception, police in many countries still apply interrogation methods that involve undue pressure and manipulation.

Human Rights Implications 

When the police question suspects human rights are put under pressure. During such encounters, the right to freedom from torture and the right to a fair trial, including the right to be presumed innocent become particularly relevant.

Cooperation and Resources

NCHR cooperates closely with the Norwegian Police University College and the Norwegian Police in teaching, research and dissemination work. Assistant Chief of Police Ivar Husby, Superintendent Dr Ivar Fahsing, and Superintendent Dr Asbjørn Rachlew, who is also an associate at the NCHR, have been central in NCHR’s work and stimulated colleague-to-colleague encounters.

Investigative Interviewing PEACE and K.R.E.A.T.I.V.

Investigative interviewing is a credible alternative to the application of torture. The goal of an investigative interview is to obtain accurate, reliable and actionable information.

The PEACE model for police interviewing (Planning and preparation, Engage and explain, Account, Closure, Evaluation), developed in the United Kingdom in response to a number of documented forced confessions and associated wrongful convictions in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This model was developed further in Norway with the inclusion of the SUE-technique (Strategic Use of Evidence) into K.R.E.A.T.I.V. 

The acronym KREATIV is composed of phrases reflecting the values and principles the method is based upon. Communication, Rule of law, Ethics and empathy, Active consciousness, Trust through openness, and Information - Verified through science.

See training material and resources to learn more. 

Published Jan. 23, 2020 2:31 PM - Last modified Jan. 4, 2021 10:28 AM