Centre of Forensic Interviewing
Teaching and research
In an environment where expectations of professionalism and transparency have never been greater, the CoFI works to meet these requirements by bringing students and trainees together with senior investigators, international academic experts and civil professionals in a purpose-built unit.
The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies (ICJS) is one of the UK’s largest centres for learning in the criminal justice field. Students, both under-graduate and post-graduate, within the Institute can benefit from the CoFI’s academic specialists and access to the same equipment used by law enforcement professionals.
Read more about courses in ICJS
People undertaking research into investigative interviews at Portsmouth have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of specialists working in the field of law enforcement, from both the academic and professional sides of the subject, in one of the first industry-standard digital recording suites within one of the UK’s largest criminal justice research centres.
Topics currently being researched within and associated to the Centre of Forensic Interviewing include:
- a national examination of serious sexual offence victim interviews;
- interviewing vulnerable groups (people with Asperger’s and children);
- sex offenders: the best ways to interview using different typologies;
- hand-written statements: how accurate are they?;
- a national evaluation of the CI in the field (in New Zealand);
- transferability of interviewing skills into the workplace (with the Norwegian Police College and National Netherlands Police);
- the best methods to interview victims of human trafficking;
- public perception of police interviews.
- the use of interpreters in the interview room
- best methods for gathering intelligence
- front-line communication - BWV footage - investigative and evidential use
If you are interested in beginning a research project within the Centre, please contact Prof Becky Milne in the first instance.
Read more about research in ICJS.
The 24th of February saw a “historical event” in the words of Associate Prof/Supt. Ivar Fahsing – National Norwegian Police College. CoFI hosted six countries (Dubai, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, and UK) at a workshop examining how we could develop Investigative Interviewing standards and research tools to examine interviewer abilities across different cultures and legal systems. Led by Prof Becky Milne, Dr Colin Clarke and Dr Andy Griffiths, real life suspect and witness interviews were examined using current interview evaluation systems and then a focussed group looked at how these can evolve using technology. The resultant system will be utilised to examine National interview standards across the participating countries which will in turn lead to recommendations for policy and practice impacting on how witnesses, victims and suspects are interviewed in the field.
Resources and Equipment
Students and researchers within the Centre of Forensic Interviewing can take advantage of the same state-of-the-art systems as are used within the criminal justice sector. Digital recording equipment (provided by Indico Systems) captures audio and video from the Centre’s fully-furnished interview rooms, and saves all files securely to a private network within the Institute. This allows users to show live footage of an interview, to scan through recordings, and to bookmark significant moments.
With industry-standard digital recording equipment and access to academic knowledge of forensic interviewing procedures married with practical policing, the Centre and its staff have the aim to provide a broad range of opportunities for practitioners, students and academics within the ever-growing world of investigative interviewing.
Centre staff have been closely involved with the development of the systems as a tool for research, teaching and best use within criminal justice workforces.
- NBC broadcast from Dr Andy Griffith's presentation to NYU Law School, explaining how the UK system of interrogating witnesses evolved from 30 years ago to today - 2015.
- Special issue of the Journal of Investigative Psychology - Investigative Interviewing and Applied Research, June 2011, Volume 8, Issue 2. Edited by: Gavin Oxburgh, Dave Walsh, Rebecca Milne
- Special issue of The British Journal of Forensic Practice - 2011