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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

Investigative interviewing in the future

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