This conference will present the results and discuss the implications of a self-reported survey of police investigators concerning suspect interviews in Europe. The survey was conducted across six countries: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. As suspect interviews are vital to the process of solving crimes and serving justice, improving interviewing practices is essential.
Little is known about what actually happens in suspect interviews in Europe. To shed light on police practices and beliefs, the self-report survey of North American police investigators by Kassin and colleagues (2007) was replicated. An adapted version of their instrument covered the following topics: suspect rights, frequency and length of interviews, interview recording, interviewing techniques, deception detection, and (false) confessions. This research project generated knowledge about the common practices used by investigators across Europe.
The conference aims at sharing, exchanging and evaluating the findings of the survey and discussing the results with leading researchers in the field of suspect interviews along with legal practitioners. Furthermore, one of the goals is to stimulate new, collaborative research projects concerning suspect interviews, and to expand the current project to other European and non-European countries.