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Interviewing and Investigation, 4th edition

May 5, 2022  By Davut Akca


Photo credit: Emond Publishing

By Kerry Watkins

ISBN: 9781774620052

Interviewing is at the heart of a criminal investigation and requires special skills, advanced training, and informed decisions. Research has contributed to the development of this crucial aspect of investigations for decades. Translating research into practice is not an easy task and should be done properly with the guidance of a reliable resource, which is an essential component of an effective training program or course.

The 4th edition of Interviewing and Investigation, written by Humber College professor Kerry Watkins, with the contributions of Joseph Eastwood, Sarah MacDonald, and Robert Thomas, is a great resource that can be used in a training course for investigative interviewers, police candidates or students. It can also be used as a reference book by those who are interested in investigative interviewing, including practitioners, trainers and researchers.

As a researcher and instructor working in the field of investigative interviewing, I am delighted to see that the 4th edition includes the most recent research findings and legal decisions within the Canadian context as well as discussions on how they can be applied in the interview practices.

The book is both comprehensive and concise in terms of covering all the information needed by an investigative interviewer, including (but not limited to) techniques such as Cognitive Interview and PEACE Mode. It also contains child interview techniques; approaches to suspect interviews, including their effectiveness and issues with the coercive interview approaches; legal issues in interviewing, such as the admissibility of confessions and the credibility of statements; eyewitness memory and interviewing procedures; and techniques to mitigate the risks and failures in interviewing. The research findings and theoretical underpinnings on these specific issues are provided in clear language that can be easily understood and applied by practitioners and students.

The supporting resources provided in the book, such as the introduction of key concepts, suggestions for further reading, and the unique perspectives on Canadian legal issues and legal rights, provide readers with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on key issues.

The case studies provided in each chapter, which include examples from recent events (e.g., Alek Minassian’s confession), help readers understand how to apply theoretical information to practice. The questions in these case studies are thoughtfully designed to guide a systematic examination of the events and of the application of the content in specific cases.

Taken together, I recommend this book to all who are interested in investigative interviewing, including practitioners, trainers, students or researchers.

– By Dr. Davut Akca, Assistant Professor at Lakehead University and Senior Fellow at Orion Policy Institute


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