IMS Professional Investigators

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Online Investigative Interviewing Course

DAREN JAY profile:

Formerly a career investigator of 22 years with the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch, Daren JayDaren Jay is a qualified Investigative Interviewing trainer having been trained by Kent Police in the UK as a specialist interviewer of vulnerable children and adults. He has interviewed 1000’s of victims of crime in relation to sexual offences, homicide and fraud/corruption offences in jurisdictions all over the world. Daren is now employed as Senior Fraud and Corruption Investigator with the NSW Government.

As Director of Interview Management Solutions (IMS), Daren Jay has released the IMS Professional Investigators Online Investigative Interviewing Course designed for Private Investigators wishing to enhance their investigative interviewing skills. Investigateway has secured a 25% discount for clients, who are invited to make use of a discount coupon, by quoting 'INVESTIGATEWAY2017’ at the course purchase checkout page.

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Investigative Interviewing - Getting it right the first time

DAREN JAY says:

As a Lecturer in Policing with Charles Sturt University I'm often asked by students for my number one tip to help investigators enhance their investigative interviewing skills.

Through my operational experience and my ongoing work within academia, I've been well-placed to observe, assess and evaluate interviewing performances and processes executed in a number of different investigative contexts. I've been fortunate to see some excellent interviewing practices and I've also been exposed to, shall we say, things that could have been done differently.

Despite advances in technology and forensic science, investigative interviewing remains the bread and butter role of investigators. The interview of witnesses, complainants and respondents remains, on the whole, the biggest opportunity an investigator has to secure accurate and reliable information, as they travel the path to establishing what happened.

Investigative Interviewing, certainly within law enforcement agencies, is now recognised as a specialist investigative function and interviewers are trained in advanced interviewing techniques to secure interview accounts from specific classes of interviewee including suspects, children and sexual offence victims.

If we leave law enforcement and look at the commercial setting, it is very likely that an investigative interview with a witness could lead to evidential detail being obtained which will later enable a national insurer to deny a multi-million dollar claim based upon some crucial 'fine-grain' evidential detail elicited from a witness or claimant during an interview. Regardless of the investigative landscape that you work in, the stakes have never been higher.

As a specialist interview trainer, I've come to recognise that many of the shortfalls that I identify when reviewing interview audio or transcripts relate back to the core skill of interview planning and it's planning that represents my No.1 tip for investigators seeking to improve or enhance their interviewing skills.

Historically, interview planning has often been viewed as a means-to-an-end and something that's done only if there really is the time. Despite the high-stakes involved, planning often remains an after-thought or something that's given nothing more than a fleeting consideration.

I understand that operationally we're all under a lot of pressure and there's never enough time in the working day; but interview planning is one area of our repertoire that we cannot afford to skimp on. The biggest problem with a lack of planning results in the fact that shortly after commencing your interview the conversation loses its structure. As soon as this occurs, the next thing to be lost is the interviewer's confidence. Once confidence has gone, nerves creep in and it's easy for the interviewer to overlook lines of enquiry and drop the ball completely. Naturally enough in such circumstances the cognitive load on the interviewer will increase and confusion or indecision will likely set in. The result? The interview is likely to conclude with both information and evidence missing.

As a minimum, setting yourself a series of aims and objectives will provide you with a framework within which to conduct your interview and leave you able to make a determination before concluding the interview as to whether or not you've covered off all of the topic areas that you intended to cover. The use of bullet-points are really useful for planning purposes and are certainly more effective than exhaustive lists of questions, which can quickly become redundant as forensic conversation develops.

By taking time to plan for an investigative interview, investigators can vastly increase the likelihood that they're going to secure accurate and reliable information and render an investigative interview a success.

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