For the Record: A collaboration to improve evidential consistency in the production of police investigative interview records

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This paper presents the findings of a pilot project being undertaken as a collaboration between academic researchers and an English police force, which applies linguistic research to the process of producing written transcripts of investigative interviews with suspects (ROTIs). This process is of real importance since these written records are the version of the interview which is routinely presented in court as part of the prosecution evidence, yet the original spoken data are (necessarily) substantially altered through the process of being converted into written format. Our aim is to develop methods of reducing this routine interference with interview evidence.
The project involves linguistic analysis of interview audio and corresponding transcripts, focus groups with transcribers and interviewers, and psycholinguistic experiments to demonstrate the differences in interpretation that can result from different formats and transcription choices.
The intended outcome is to produce transcription guidelines and training to assist transcribers in producing ROTIs which encapsulate more of the meaning conveyed by the original spoken interaction, and to enable consistency of interpretation of features such as punctuation and pauses for the reader (e.g. fellow investigating officers, CPS, courts). We are also seeking to recruit other forces to roll out the project more widely.
Period22 Jun 2022
Event titleInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group Annual Conference 2022
Event typeConference
LocationWinchester, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational