Essay on Victim And Witness Interviewing

Submitted By Courtney-Silva
Words: 935
Pages: 4

Higher Education
Security Officer Training

This training module is based off the information obtained in the International
Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Administrators (IACLEA) - Campus
Protection Officer Training Program - Second

Create a standardized training program for
Higher Education, non-commissioned campus safety and/or security officers in the Pierce
County Region.

Victim and Witness Interviewing Module


Identify the three stages of victim/witness crisis. Discuss the importance of building rapport.
Discuss proper questioning techniques used during an interview.
Discuss how to conduct effective interviews.
Discuss the three stages of Psychological First

Victim and Witness Interviewing

Proper Interviewing Techniques Will

Produce information that is accurate and pertinent to the investigation.
• Minimizes the potential that the officer will put words into the mouth of witnesses and victims.
• Allow the officer to obtain the victim’s and witness’s version of the incident from that person’s perspective.
• Facilitate the flow of information provided by the witnesses and victims.

People perceive events differently. The following are reasons why:
• Personal biases
• Prejudices
• Eyesight
• Lighting
• Fear of the event itself
• Color-blindness

Victims of Crime
Victims of crime, particularly violent and traumatic crimes, have legitimate and valid reasons for withholding information. The reasons include:
• Fear of retaliation.
• Anxiety or embarrassment.
• Fear about the future outcomes of being the victim i.e. facing the offender during prosecution. The Three Stages of Victim/Witness Crisis

Impact Stage

• Characterized by the victim displaying shock, fear, disbelief and confusion

Recoil Stage
• Characterized by the victim displaying fear, shame, guilt, anger, resentment, phobic reaction to the details of the crime, difficulty recalling or making decisions and mood swings.
• During this stage, the investigator needs to establish rapport with the victim. • The stage when they talk or vent about the crime.
• The interviewer should practice good listening skills during this stage.

Recoil Stage
When the victim vents, they talk and: • Recall events and information. • New information is brought forward. • Bringing information to the surface is one goal of the investigative interview. The stronger the rapport is with the victim, the better the information provided will be.

Reorganization Stage
• The victim begins to return to normal lifestyle.
• The victim may experience emotional turmoil during this time. • Fears and phobias may develop and may be related specifically to the circumstance Three Stages of Psychological First Aid

Psychological first aid assists the investigator in the identification and removal of emotional barriers such as anger or fear that can stand between the investigator and the information needed from the victim or witness.

The “ You” Stage

Interviews should deal with the victims safety and security concerns before any attempt to obtain information about the crime is started. Let victim vent his/her anger.
Venting is talking and information can be obtained.
Validate the victim’s feelings, check for emotional barriers. Deal with their concerns before conducting a formal interview.
Call the victim by their first name.

The “ We” Stage

Interviewer should move to this stage with a statement such as “I want you to understand what we are doing.”
Sends the message that you and the victim/witness are in this together and emphasizes the victim/witness is not alone.
Spend a short time informing the victim about the next steps in the investigation or incident response.
This will help minimize the victim’s/witness’s uncertainties and fears about the future.

The “I” Stage
• The investigator should move to this stage with a statement such as, “In order for us to be successful...I need some more information.” •