Type: Exploratory
Pages: 3 | Words: 635
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

It is a complicated process to get information from the suspect in terms of police investigation and criminal affairs. The police have to deal with different layers of society. Each of them requires special kind of techniques to be used for their interviews and interrogations. Various tactics and precautions should be used to obtain information from different groups of society such as children, elderly people, and mentally challenged.

Basically, any interrogation with the police should be preceded by the Miranda warning and waiver of rights form. It is the right of everyone to keep silence as anything said can be used against the suspect in the court and the right to the attorney. In case if the suspect cannot afford the attorney the police are obliged to provide the attorney for the detainee. The police safeguard the right to the misdemeanor to waive these rights and to speak freely without the attorney and change his/her mind any time to have an attorney present after all.

In 1972 the court held that the Miranda right cannot be applied mechanically to juveniles. Therefore, if the child is not old enough to understand and waive his or her Miranda rights, questioning may go further; however, in accordance to the highest standards of the process with every consideration of the child’s age and its surrounding circumstances. Mentally challenged are considered incompetent to waive or recognize their Miranda rights. This fact is to be taken into consideration by the police, because if the court proves that the suspect is mentally sick, it can suppress any statements made by the individuals spontaneously during the interrogation. The group of elderly people should also receive more attentive treatment from the police. The police might apply pressure during the interviewing, and this group of people is prone to health disorders.

Before the police officer starts his interview with the suspect, he should get acknowledged with the situation and case thoroughly. During these phases the police define the techniques and strategies it would use to retrieve the information from the suspects. Plan of the interrogation should be based on the facts of the case. Statements of witnesses allow the police to anticipate the fiction and facts that could be obtained from the suspect.

During the interrogation the police may use audio and video equipment. Before the recording starts, the police officer should inform the suspects that they are recorded, and then the officer should ask if the suspect agrees to take the electronically recorded statement and, in case of negative answer, record the form of refusal. Police should be extremely sensitive to special groups of population such as mentally challenged, because they may be inadequate to respond to the police questions, and any evidence retrieved from court may regard as fiction.

Taking notes during the interview is very important and it helps the investigator to focus on the key factors of suspect’s behavior during the response. First, taking a written note after each response slows down the pace of questioning. It is much easier for the suspect to lie in a series of questions than in the same questions asked apart. Children also should receive special treatment depending on their age and other circumstances as any interrogation with them without the presence of their guardian may be regarded as illegal.

Interviewing techniques need to be developed, because many criminals are acquitted because of incorrect and inadequate interrogation techniques. They should be developed as specialized skills, especially when dealing with young children to protect the child from possible violence and pressure from the side of police.

Elderly population, as well as mentally challenged, should be interrogated with the same techniques as common people. However, one exception should be considered: the possibility of the stressful situation should be brought to minimum, because these layers of population are more subjected to health disorders than others.

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