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Investigative interviewing in the future. The New Zealand Police strategic vision for 2011 & beyond Nina Westera Acting Strategic Adviser: Investigative Interviewing. NZ Police. NZ population 4.2 million National police service 12 semi-autonomous Districts 11,000 employees.

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investigative interviewing in the future

Investigative interviewing in the future

The New Zealand Police strategic vision for 2011 & beyond

Nina Westera

Acting Strategic Adviser: Investigative Interviewing

nz police
NZ Police
  • NZ population 4.2 million
  • National police service
  • 12 semi-autonomous Districts
  • 11,000 employees
the review 2004 2007
The Review 2004 – 2007
  • Identify international best practice
  • Benchmark the current position in New Zealand
  • Make recommendations on a way forward
benchmarking current situation
Benchmarking Current Situation
  • National survey of sworn staff: witnesses better than suspects, want more skills
  • Assessment of suspect and witness interviews: suspects better than witnesses, not performing as well as we could
  • Practitioner focus groups: lack of supervision and knowledge
benchmarking current situation1
Benchmarking Current Situation
  • Survey of police and crown prosecutors and judges: fair and patient but lack direction and do not challenge
  • Review of case law: issues around fairness and special consideration
  • Consultation other government agencies: similar position to Police
benchmarking current situation2
Benchmarking Current Situation
  • Consultation internal parties
  • Review of training and assessment
  • Assessment of policy and documentation
  • Findings:
    • No national ownership/governance
    • No national standards and limited guidance on good practice
    • Limited training and practice
    • Limited assessment
  • National ownership
  • Overarching strategy & policy
  • Ethical principles
  • Internationally affirmed interviewing model (PEACE)
  • National standards
  • Recognition of elements necessary to produce effective interviewers
  • Comprehensive national training framework, structure and programme
  • Quality assurance regime
  • Technology and facilities
strategy and governance
Strategy and governance


  • Investigative Interviewing Unit established
  • Development of an overarching strategy
  • Business Owner: National Crime Manager

The future…

  • Ensure IIU continues after implementation complete
  • Steering Group: key stakeholders
strategic vision
Strategic vision
  • Skilled interviewers conducting professional and ethical interviews to gather the most complete, accurate and reliable information for investigations
  • Using the most reliable method to record all interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects
  • Using video interviews as evidence-in-chief for all victims and witnesses
where are we currently at
Where are we currently at?
  • As per review skill levels can be improved
  • Interviewing suspects on video introduced in policy in 1992
  • Child complainants interviews video recorded since early 1990’s
  • In 2007 piloted first training for video recording interviews with vulnerable and investigatively important adult witnesses
  • Evidence Act 2006 broadened ability to use video interviews as evidence in chief
peace ethical principles
PEACE & Ethical principles


  • Adopted as best practice
  • National guidance, policy & standards (reviewed by English experts)
  • Where possible, adopting scientifically validated interviewing techniques

The future…

  • Continuous review and refinement with enhanced understandings & developing practice
competency framework now
Competency framework: Now
  • Dedicated trainers at the Royal NZ Police College
  • Each level:
    • National standards
    • Training
    • Workplace assessment & accreditation
  • Training & competency framework:
    • L1: 7,500 staff trained & recruit training
    • L2: stand alone training programme
    • L3: specialist adult witness
    • Supervision, assessment, accreditation & ongoing development

4 levels of interviewer

Level 4: Interview Advisors

Advising, managing and co-ordinating

Level 3: Specialist Interviewers

Adult witness/Child witness/ Suspect

Specialist interviewing for major crime

Level 2: Advanced interviewers

Investigators of serious and complex crime

Level 1: Foundation interviewers

Investigators of priority crime

competency framework the future
Competency Framework: The future
  • L1 refresher training
  • Emphasis on specialist levels
  • Currently developing L3: Suspect
  • Currently reviewing Child Forensic Interviewing – will become L3: Specialist Child
  • L4 Advisor 2012/13
  • Investigator’s Professional Development Programme (IPDP) incorporate L2
  • Ongoing development
l3 specialist adult witness
L3: Specialist Adult Witness

Ensuring quality interviews:

  • No one else to conduct video recorded interviews
  • Interview victims & witnesses to major crime
  • 5 day training course
  • Submit two assessments within 6mnths to national trainers
  • Accreditation
  • Annual renewal
  • District and local peer reviews
building expertise
Building expertise
  • Fostering relationships with international experts:
    • Assisting us with training and ongoing professional development
    • Reviewing guidance and training materials
  • Making NZ Police self-sufficient:
    • Building our own expertise within Police
    • Succession planning
    • Fostering relationships with our academics:
    • Developing our own experts
    • Encouraging research in investigative interviewing
    • Collaborating with international experts
    • Making data accessible and ensuring research is ecologically valid
key stakeholder buy in
Key stakeholder buy-in
  • Our own staff
  • Broader justice sector:
    • Crown prosecutors
    • Judiciary
    • Other government departments
    • Non-government organisations
    • Sharing knowledge, building relationships & working together to make it happen
quality assurance
Quality assurance


  • Process evaluation of L1 implementation

The future:

  • Outcome evaluation – replicate the Review
  • Ongoing evaluation & review e.g. L3 Witness
  • Research by different academic institutions
interviewing facilities
Interviewing facilities


  • Standards for interview rooms
  • Rooms for victims and witnesses
  • Multi-agency centres

The future…

  • Portable capability
  • Data streaming:
    • Live monitoring during investigations
    • Workload management
    • Virtual typing pools
    • First step stripping the audio
    • Automatic voice recognition
  • Portable interviewing units:
    • Witnesses and suspects
    • Mobility geographically remote areas, prisons, hospitals
  • Mobile interviewing for general duties
thank you to
Thank you to…
  • Mary Schollum
  • Prof Ray Bull
  • Dr Becky Milne
  • Gary Shaw (MBE)
  • Prof Ron Fisher
  • Dr Matthew Gerrie
  • Dr Rachel Zajac
  • Dr Deirdre Brown
  • Dr Ian Lambie
  • Prof Martine Powell
  • Superintendent Andy Griffith
  • All those who have added to the wealth of information on memory and investigative interviewing