Police officers should utilize a proper interview stance when dealing with the public. The interaction between civilians and police officers is on a continuous basis and hence the way that police present themselves affects their professionalism and effectiveness in their work. The interrogation style adopted by police can intimidate subjects thereby leading to false confessions. Therefore police must engage the public in a non-accusatory approach towards information gathering as a best practice. While it is essential that police officers gather the most out of public interviewing, it is of great importance that they build rapport through coaxing in a professional manner to prevent a buildup of emotion, false confession and to gather in-depth information.
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Through the use of a professional attitude when interviewing the public, police officers are able to avoid false confessions. McConville, Sanders, & Leng (2017) note that when police officers take a biased stance, the public may be intimated and lack the drive to confess in the right manner, hence, hampering the reliability of confessions. This is because a right attitude is highly effective in creating the right atmosphere for dialogue and interactive interviewing.
Emotional interviewing is a consequence of adopting an improper interviewing attitude. By adopting the right stance, the police officers are less likely to be emotional and will not shift their goals when interviewing the public (Wachi et al. 2014). In this case, the interview will not deviate from its main goal and that information gathered is specific to the interview (Hinds & Murphy, 2007). For that reason, the information gathered will answer more queries specific to the interview question. Emotional interviewing may lead to arrogance, failure to capture the necessary information and poor rapport, thereby eliminating professionalism.
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Better information gathering leads to a reduction in failed interviews or lawsuits. Police officers achieve greater depths of information gathering when they communicate in the right attitude and maintain the right stand (Hinds & Murphy, 2007). This prevents the deviation of the interview from its intended role while at the same time generating the intended results.
Overall, adopting a proper interview attitude has numerous benefits. The benefits can lead to better professionalism and the attainment of the desired goals with lesser effort. Hence, police officers can obtain credible information from the public, devoid of bias, and specific to the interview question.
Hinds, L., & Murphy, K. (2007). Public satisfaction with police: Using procedural justice to improve police legitimacy. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 40(1), 27-42.
McConville, M., Sanders, A., & Leng, R. (2017). Routledge Revivals: Case for the Prosecution (1991): Police Suspects and the Construction of Criminality. Routledge.
Wachi, T., Watanabe, K., Yokota, K., Otsuka, Y., Kuraishi, H., & Lamb, M. (2014). Police interviewing styles and confessions in Japan. Psychology, Crime & Law, 20(7), 673-694.