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Taped interview technique

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Taped interview technique

Postby shootist » Fri May 19, 2017 7:15 pm

I have been asked for advice (very informally) from a person I am sure would not (probably could not, he was so evidently unaware of any police procedures at all) have misled me on circumstances and I thought I'd run it past the glitterati herein.

He was invited to the police station to be interviewed in respect of a possible criminal offence in respect to filling in a firearms licence application. On attending he was taken to an interview room and a tape recording device, tapes already inserted, fitting the description of the standard police recorder was switched on. He was cautioned and informed that he was being interviewed about a possible offence which may end up in court. OK so far?

The interviewer then switched of the recorder and told the interviewee that it was not likely to go to court, and then switched the recorder on again before continuing the interview. A similar happening took place a number of times during the interview. At the conclusion of the interview the interviewee was not asked to sign a master tape label and was not given a copy of the tape. Several other minor peculiarities also were described but the switching on and off of the tape recorder is the biggie, at least I hope it is. I have been retired from enforcement for about 4 years now. Have I missed something about interview procedure, or is the interviewing officer a complete knobhead?
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Re: Taped interview technique

Postby dls » Fri May 19, 2017 8:09 pm

He is.
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Re: Taped interview technique

Postby shootist » Fri May 19, 2017 9:14 pm

dls wrote:He is.


I hate it when you beat around the bush.
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Re: Taped interview technique

Postby Spankymonkey » Sat May 20, 2017 4:17 am

PACE Code E is very specific about the procedure of interview breaks. Failure to abide by them means that the interview could become inadmissible in court, in the unlikely event it's taken that far.

4(f) Taking a break during interview
4.12 When a break is taken, the fact that a break is to be taken, the reason for it and the time shall be recorded on the audio recording.

4.14 After any break in the interview the interviewer must, before resuming the interview, remind the person being questioned of their right to legal advice if they have not exercised it and that they remain under caution or, if there is any doubt, give the caution in full again. (See Note 4G.)

I assume none of these procedures were followed in your case.

The only exception to this is recordings made on secure digital media, simply because you cannot switch those systems off. But few stations have those systems anyway anyway and prefer using a media that was considered low-tech even in the 1980s.
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