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NCJ Number: 72653 Find in a Library
Title: Police Interrogation - An Observational Study in Four Police Stations
Author(s): P Softley
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 74
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Her Majesty's Stationery Office
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
Sale Source: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
PO Box 29
Norwich, NR3 1GN,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study provides an account of what happens to suspects from the time they arrive at Brtish police stations until they are released or put into a cell after being charged.
Abstract: The study was conducted by the Research Unit of the British Home Office. It aimed at examining the operation of the Judges' Rules and Administrative Directions, which regulate the handling of suspects, and at assessing the contribution of questioning to the detection of crime. During 3 months in 1979, a team made two 6-day visits to each of four police stations in town centers. The observers provided 24-hour coverage and concentrated on criminal cases. They were present during 220 police interviews and recorded data on standard forms. The findings suggest that the guidelines governing police interrogation are in most cases adequate to ensure that the courts may rely on the evidence which was gathered through suspects' responses. However, technical breaches of the guidelines did occur, and these raised questions about the proper balance between the needs of criminal investigation and the rights of suspects. Individual chapters focus on a history of the legal basis of the suspect's right to silence, the arrival at the police station and the time spent there, contact with persons other than police officers, the caution and the right to silence, interviews with suspects, the contribution of questioning to the detection of crime, the formal disposal of suspects, and a summary of the findings with conclusions. Appendixes contain the observer recording document and information on the nature of evidence against suspects for selected categories of crime. Data tables and a list of 16 references are included.
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Police decisionmaking; Police-offender relations; Right of privacy; Rights of the accused; Suspect interrogation
Note: Home Office Research Study number 61
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