Forensic Interviews with Children in Scotland: A Survey of Interview Practices Among Police

David la Rooy, Michael E Lamb, Amina Memon

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The present study surveyed 91 police interviewers in Scottish police forces about their perceptions of how well they adhered to the Scottish Executive (2003) guidelines. Almost all respondents (97%) received the appropriate national training and overwhelmingly indicated (again 97%) that their training equipped them either quite, very, or extremely well for conducting their interviews. Thus, it is not surprising that interviewers also indicated that they believed that their interviews resulted in obtaining a full and complete account of events in question (88%). However, aside from this positive self evaluation there are reasons to be concerned as to the quality of interviews that are being conducted; 1) Most interviewers (78%) received no refresher training, 2) no interviewers received formal feedback about the quality of interviews that they conducted, 3) practice interviews were routinely not included as part of the interview, 4) the use of open-ended prompts was not widespread with 20% of interviews indicating that they never use them, and 5) interviews are not currently being recorded. These results are discussed with respect to other studies of interviewer behaviour along with recommendations for future training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jul 2010
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • forensic interviewing, child abuse, police practice, survey

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