Interviewing eyewitnesses

Julie Gawrylowicz, Amina Memon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Eyewitness researchers have attempted to take what we know about memory and social influence and wrap it into a set of procedures for interviewing eyewitnesses. This has resulted in a number of empirically based investigative interviewing tools. Some of these tools have been successfully implemented into current police practice. The most developed and researched procedural package for gathering detailed reports from cooperative eyewitnesses without compromising overall accuracy is the Cognitive Interview (CI). Since its development 25 years ago, novel and alternative interviewing strategies have been developed, including the Self-Administered Interview© (SAI), a pen-and-paper version of the CI. The SAI can be administered at the crime scene and to multiple witnesses simultaneously, thereby reducing police time and resources.

Although a lot has been achieved during the past two decades with regard to improving and standardizing investigative interviewing of witnesses, victims, and suspects, especially in the UK, there remain controversial policy issues, such as how to best train investigative interviewers and which methods to use for recording interviews. Under researched areas include how to best interview vulnerable suspects and procedures and practices for interviewing traumatized victims and witnesses. It is important to promote the collaboration between practitioners and academics to ensure that investigative interviewing practice continues to evolve and is driven by contemporary theories and research findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of criminology and criminal justice
EditorsGerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781461456902
ISBN (Print)9781461456896
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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