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NCJ Number: 217970 Find in a Library
Title: Forgotten Area Canvass
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:55  Issue:3  Dated:March 2007  Pages:48,50-51,53,54
Author(s): Tony Monheim
Date Published: March 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the neighborhood canvass as a proven investigative method that contributes to solving crimes.
Abstract: A neighborhood canvass involves interviews conducted in the field in contrast to statements taken at the police station. A canvass should be conducted in any area where an event related to the crime at issue occurred, such as where the crime happened, where a body was left, or where an item of evidence was found. If suspects are identified, it may be helpful to canvass the neighborhoods where they live in order to learn about their reputations and habits. Ideally, patrol personnel and plainclothes detectives should perform separate canvasses, since some people respond more readily to an authority figure in a uniform, while others prefer the business suit of the detective. The main goal of a neighborhood canvass is to locate a witness to the crime. This can include hearing as well as seeing something important to the case. The article discusses the types of questions to ask based on the information being sought, as well as the style of questioning based on the demeanor and answers of the person being interviewed. The discussion emphasizes the importance of attentiveness to the questions and answers, follow-up questions based on answers, and the thoroughness of the questioning. In addition to house-to-house canvasses, interviews at vehicle checkpoints and neighborhood areas frequented by residents are also discussed.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Field interrogation and interview; Investigative techniques; Personal interviews; Police interviewing training; Witnesses
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