b. Witnesses. You must often guide the witness in order to help him recall
and relate the facts of an incident as they were observed. Help him realize that
he has important and necessary information.
Questioning should be designed to
develop a detailed account. Be aware of the human factors that affect a witness's
ability to observe and describe things related to the crime.
c. Victims. When interviewing the victim of a crime, especially a crime of
violence, consider his emotional and physical state. A state of shock or hysteria
may cause him to give a hazy, erroneous, or garbled account of the crime.
opinions or conclusions are often included in his account of the crime.
open mind. Evaluate each element of the story in relation to the physical evidence
and the testimony of witnesses.
The interview procedure used for a victim can
usually give reliable information about the events leading to the crime, but his
account of the details of, and the events following, the crime may be faulty
because of excitement and tension.
17. Recording the Facts. The recording of the facts disclosed in the interview is
necessary to the proper conduct of the investigation and to the report.
a. Most people who are interviewed have no objection to the SA discreetly
Notes, however, should not be taken until he has had a chance to
tell his story completely and to correct any honest mistakes made in the first
b. Some display annoyance when the SA diverts his attention from them to the
taking of notes, while others are reluctant to talk when they know that what they
say is being recorded.
When this happens, do not make notes until just before
c. A recording device (tape or
wire) is a good means of preserving the
The recordings should be
kept in their entirety, together with any
transcripts made from them. A complete
items as they may later prove valuable
in legal proceedings, provided they can be
a. The closing should be just as careful as any other part of the interview.
Make certain that you note all information received: a brief summary prior to the
departure of the person will disclose any mistake, either in his account or in your
Show your appreciation for his cooperation and emphasize the
importance of the information. You may reassure him that the information will be
handled in a confidential manner, and that the right action will be taken.
b. Bringing the interview to a close may uncover more information.
A reluctant person may tend to drop his guard after the questioning has
ceased and you have put your notebook away.
The person who has suppressed facts