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Week 10

November 9th 2013 | Nick Brown and Sam Busbee

For the last two weeks we’ve been split into two groups, one group is learning how to conduct a witness interview and the other group on how to interview a suspect.
 
For the first week I would be learning the techniques and procedures for interviewing a suspect and each person would get to have a go in one of three positions. Firstly the lead interviewer who would take control of the interview. The ‘number 2’ who would be taking notes for the lead interviewer but would also be providing valuable support and summaries and finally the fun part, the suspect.
 
The first day of the week consisted of learning the process for interviewing and planning our own interview following a model which is used across the world and has been designed to comply with human rights and legal procedures. Once we had mastered this it would be time to conduct the interview, not knowing what sort of suspect awaited us. This was to demonstrate the importance of planning and preparation but also the flexibility required of the plan.
 
The interview room was a very daunting experience and for many took us out of our comfort zones as there was full video and audio recording being fed onto the screen in the other room where the rest of the group observed the interview to provide real feedback on various steps of the procedure. The lead interviewer would then come back into the room and sit in front of the group and listen and digest the feedback they received. It was an unfamiliar experience but having been in the ‘hot’ seat myself I can see the importance of gaining feedback from your peers and taking on learning points that have been identified from your performance.
 
We had some Oscar winning performances from some members of the group who were briefed to act in certain ways during the interview to make it a little more challenging for the lead interviewer. It made it entertaining from the observers point of view but didn’t detract from the seriousness of the task and how to deal with different situations and adapt our approach.
 
On Tuesday we got to relax slightly during the evening as it was Bonfire Night. As probationers we were the first choice for labouring away preparing food and drinks for the family and friends of other police officers. There was hog roast, burgers, hot dogs, hot chocolate and teas and we all worked really well together taking on different roles, handing out sparklers and getting to know the people we will work with and working together to keep everyone warm and fed. The display was well organised and the evening was a success.
 
It was a tiring week and probably one of the more challenging since we joined but we all got through it together and learnt a lot in the process.
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