Police interrogation practice in Slovenia

Date

2015-12-23

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1068-316X

Volume Title

Publisher

Routledge

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Interrogation techniques are well explored, but in Slovenia it has remained unknown what interrogation techniques are used and what the basic characteristics of suspect interrogations are. The Slovenian interrogation manual proposes some coercive interrogation techniques and neglects their weaknesses. The aim of the current study was to examine Slovenian police officers’ beliefs as to the basic characteristics of their interrogations and whether techniques proposed by the manual are used in practice to begin to provide some insight into what actually happens in such interrogations. A survey instrument was used to obtain self-report data from a sample of criminal investigators. From 86 completed questionnaires it was found that a typical interrogation of a suspect lasts around 90 minutes and is not recorded. Interviewers typically use three interrogation techniques namely (i) conducting interrogations in isolation; (ii) identifying contradictions in the suspect's story; and (iii) confronting the suspect with evidence. Findings suggest that some coercive interrogation techniques are used in practice (e.g. offering moral justifications, alluding to have evidence of guilt, good cop/bad cop routine, and minimization). The study is the first insight into the practices of Slovenian investigators when questioning suspects. Differences among general, white-collar and organized crime investigators are also discussed.

Description

Keywords

Police, suspects, interrogation techniques, interrogation characteristics, coercion, crime types

Citation

Areh, I., Walsh, D. & Bull, R., 2015. Police interrogation practice in Slovenia. Psychology, Crime & Law, 22(5), pp.405–419.

Rights

Research Institute

Centre for Law, Justice and Society