Investigation is at the heart of policing. Criminal investigations require the gathering of facts (or evidence) from a number of sources with the ultimate goal to identify the perpetrator of a crime and serve the justice system. This evidence comes from, among other things, crime scenes (i.e. DNA) and from information disclosed by significant others (i.e. witnesses, suspects, victims). It is very often the case that the outcome of an investigation depends heavily on the process and outcome of police interviews with witnesses, as they provide the initial direction of the investigation and the lines of enquiry to be pursued. The investigative interviewing of witnesses is an area which has attracted great attention over the years as the crucial role witnesses play within the criminal justice system has come to light, not always in the most favourably way. Witnesses’ misidentifications, which can result in wrongful convictions and subsequent miscarriages of justice, have brought together practitioners and professionals in a quest to develop best practices in witness interviewing and improve eyewitness testimony and identification. Such practices will be examined in this paper, and discussed also in relation to the context in Cyprus.
investigative interviewing, witness, misidentification, testimony, cognitive interviewing, PEACE
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