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Week 11

November 25th 2013 | Nick Brown and Sam Busbee

This week was our second week of PEACE interview training. The class had again been split into two groups with our half tackling witness interviewing. Our first task for the week was to collect our Jersey colleagues from the airport, however as we got closer to the airport it became clear that there would be no flights coming in for quite some time. Local cloud cover had dropped and the visibility was so bad it was almost too dangerous to drive to the airport let alone for a plane to land there.

When we arrived at the airport a glance at the arrivals board confirmed that every flight in was delayed until further notice. We sat in arrivals and stared out the window, every now and again the visibility looked like it may be getting better only for it to become worse than before. Finally at 11am we were told to head back to Le Trelade hotel and we would begin our lessons without the Jersey students.

At the hotel the four Guernsey students conducted mock witness interviews on each other, using the model we had learned the week before. Come lunch time we discovered that the Jersey student’s lunch had already been made and there were now twelve lunches that would go to waste if someone wasn’t found to eat them. It was a tough job, but we managed it. After lunch we covered some basics of witness interviewing and learned how to timeline band PLAT statements in order to cross check information.

On Tuesday we reported to La Trelade again to continue our PEACE training. The sky had cleared so the Jersey students would be joining us today, however due to a backlog at the airport it would not be until later in the day. We continued the work we had begun the day before and just before lunch (sad news for us free lunch lovers) the Jersey students arrived. After lunch we were given the cases we would be interviewing for and were given some time to read and plan for them.

Just before the end of the day we were called back to the class and given the order we would be doing our interviews by way of a dice roll. Not the most scientific way of doing it I’m sure but it added a bit of excitement to the end of the day.

Wednesday we began our interview practicals. If there was a student there who said they weren’t nervous they would be lying. There was a table set up at the front of the class for the interview to take place at whilst everyone else watched. Everyone who did their interview managed to put their nerves to one side and performed well, receiving good learning points from the staff at the end, whilst everyone who was yet to do their interview made alterations to their plans. After a full day of interviewing everyone was tired but there was one more thing to do. It was Staff Moth’s final day with us as a trainer so we all gathered to wish her all the best for the future. The classroom will be a lot quieter without Staff Moth around but I’m sure I speak for all the students, Guernsey and Jersey, when I say she will be missed.

Thursday was yet another full day of interview practicals. Those students who had completed theirs the previous day could breathe easy whilst those who still had to go tried to contain their nerves. They had obviously been taking notes yesterday however as today’s interviews were as good, if not better than the previous day.

As all of the students had completed their interviews by Friday morning, we were given extra lessons on how to conduct a victim interview. It was interesting to learn all the subtle differences that need to be applied when interviewing victims of different crimes. Once we had discussed various scenarios we were treated to a demonstration from Staff Walder on how he would conduct an interview. I can’t speak for the rest of the students but watching an experienced officer conduct an interview made me realise I had still have a lot more to learn.

After a staggered start it was another excellent week of training. It’s hard to believe that the initial stage will be completed in only four more weeks.

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