Criminal psychology-topic 3.


Criminal Psychology.

Collection of evidence.


Identity parades- used when police have a suspect and need a victim/witness to confirm this is the person they are looking for. Usually consists of 6 people, the supect and foils. The witness is on the other side of a one way glass screen, so cannot be seen. They have numerous weaknesses; the victim/witness feels pressured to choose someone (they assume the suspect is definitly in the line up).

Wells- showed participants a poor quality video from a shop camera showing a man entering a store. They were told he had murdered the security guard and they had to pick him out from a photo line up. The suspect was not actually in the line up, so any choice would be incorrect. One group told they made right decision, other group told wrong, third given no feedback. Asked how certain they were, and whether they would testify in court. The people who were told the correct statement were much more certain of accuracy and willing to testify. Creates concerns that police could be affecting accuracy.

Identikits- produce an image of someone to fit a description. Done by photo-fit, which selects facial features from a large bank of photographed images. Used to be done by hand, now all done via the internet.


Standard interview- minimal training, police ask whatever they feel relevant, interrupt, ask short answer questions, poor sequencing. Over reliance on short answer qs at the expense of long answer ones. Pushing witnesses to answer questions also often results in false evidence.

Cognitive interview- four stages; Context reinstatement- encourage witness to reinstate context in their mind. Recalling factors such as smell, aswell as what they were thinking and feeling. Close eyes and imagine themselves back there. In depth reporting- tell story in own words and in as much detail as possible. No interruptions, and encouraged to recall


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