An examination of police officers' notes of interviews with alleged child abuse victims

Cauchi, Rita and Powell, Martine B. 2009, An examination of police officers' notes of interviews with alleged child abuse victims, International journal of police science & management, vol. 11, no. 4, Winter, pp. 505-515.

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Title An examination of police officers' notes of interviews with alleged child abuse victims
Author(s) Cauchi, Rita
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Journal name International journal of police science & management
Volume number 11
Issue number 4
Season Winter
Start page 505
End page 515
Total pages 11
Publisher Vathek Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1461-3557
Keyword(s) note taking
investigative interviewing
child sexual abuse
Summary This study provided a critical examination of handwritten records (notes) of interviews contained in a sample of 89 police case files about alleged child abuse. Some of the notes examined related to initial disclosure (complaint) interviews which were not electronically recorded and were meant to be recorded verbatim. Notes of electronically recorded interviews, which merely constituted a convenient summary of the case details, were also examined. Collectively, the analyses focused on the accessibility, completeness and accuracy of the notes, and the degree to which the interviewers' questions and witnesses' answers were differentiated. In relation to the disclosure interviews, a substantial proportion of these were not accessible. Of those where the notes were obtained, the detail recorded was not a complete record of conversation, and there was often poor delineation of questions and responses. Analysis of the electronically recorded interviews showed that these were not an entirely accurate summary of event details even though the note takers' sole task was to document the interview. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Language eng
Field of Research 160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Vathek Publishing Ltd.
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