High-stakes police investigative interviews and intelligence gathering contexts: Practitioners’ perceptions of interpreter impact on rapport development

L. M. Howes1 and J. Goodman-Delahunty2

1 Criminology, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
2 Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University

*corresponding author: Loene.Howes@utas.edu.au

In high-stakes interviews regarding matters of national and international security, interpreters are essential when interviewers and interviewees lack a common language. While rapport-based interviews have been found to be effective in eliciting complete and accurate information from witnesses and suspects in monolingual interviews, little is known about how interpreters may impact rapport development in interpreter-assisted interviews. We aimed to ascertain interviewers’ perceptions of such interviews and rapport development within them. Experienced interviewers (N = 121) drawn from policing, intelligence and military organisations in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and South Korea participated in structured interviews about interpreter-assisted interviews with high-value targets. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically. Challenges reported in these interviews included concerns arising from poor adherence to professional ethics for interpreters and difficulty in establishing rapport with interviewees. This presentation highlights responses to challenges that adhere to professional ethics and interviewing protocols. Aspects of policy, practice and research are identified for further attention directed towards fostering more effective interviews employing interpreters in high-stakes contexts

Biography

Loene is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Tasmania. Her paper presents research conducted as part of a larger project on police and military investigative interviewing and intelligence-gathering in Asian-Pacific jurisdictions, led by Prof. Jane Goodman-Delahunty of Charles Sturt University. Loene’s research focuses on the inter-professional communication in the criminal justice system.

High-stakes police investigative interviews and intelligence gathering contexts: Practitioners’ perceptions of interpreter impact on rapport development

L. M. Howes1 and J. Goodman-Delahunty2

1 Criminology, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
2 Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University

*corresponding author: Loene.Howes@utas.edu.au

In high-stakes interviews regarding matters of national and international security, interpreters are essential when interviewers and interviewees lack a common language. While rapport-based interviews have been found to be effective in eliciting complete and accurate information from witnesses and suspects in monolingual interviews, little is known about how interpreters may impact rapport development in interpreter-assisted interviews. We aimed to ascertain interviewers’ perceptions of such interviews and rapport development within them. Experienced interviewers (N = 121) drawn from policing, intelligence and military organisations in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and South Korea participated in structured interviews about interpreter-assisted interviews with high-value targets. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically. Challenges reported in these interviews included concerns arising from poor adherence to professional ethics for interpreters and difficulty in establishing rapport with interviewees. This presentation highlights responses to challenges that adhere to professional ethics and interviewing protocols. Aspects of policy, practice and research are identified for further attention directed towards fostering more effective interviews employing interpreters in high-stakes contexts

Biography

Loene is a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Tasmania. Her paper presents research conducted as part of a larger project on police and military investigative interviewing and intelligence-gathering in Asian-Pacific jurisdictions, led by Prof. Jane Goodman-Delahunty of Charles Sturt University. Loene’s research focuses on the inter-professional communication in the criminal justice system.

The working culture of covert policing

B. Goold

Faculty Of Law, University Of British Columbia

This paper presents some of the key findings from an ethnographic field study of covert policing in the UK, and aims to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship.

Biography

Benjamin Goold is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. His major research interests include privacy rights, the use of surveillance technologies by the police and intelligence communities, and the rhetoric and language of human rights.

The working culture of covert policing

B. Goold

Faculty Of Law, University Of British Columbia

This paper presents some of the key findings from an ethnographic field study of covert policing in the UK, and aims to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship.

Biography

Benjamin Goold is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. His major research interests include privacy rights, the use of surveillance technologies by the police and intelligence communities, and the rhetoric and language of human rights.

Making sense of big data for security

J. Chan1, L. Bennett Moses2

1 Law School, UNSW Australia
2 Law School, UNSW Australia

*corresponding author: j.chan@unsw.edu.au

Big Data technology is said to hold great promise for improved efficiency and effectiveness for law enforcement and security intelligence agencies. This article aims to develop a cultural analysis of the potential impact of Big Data on the production of national and international security. Building on a Bourdesian framework for analysing police and new technologies, the article draws on empirical data from an Australian study to examine how security agents made sense of the capability and value of Big Data and developed technological frames that envisaged how this new technology could enhance or change their practices. The analysis demonstrates the importance of understanding the habitus of security agents in negotiating technological change in the field of security production.

Biography

Janet Chan is Professor at UNSW Law. She is internationally recognised for her contributions to policing research, especially her work on police culture and the use of information technology in policing. Janet has been awarded a number of major grants for criminological and sociolegal research, ranging from policing, juvenile justice, restorative justice, work stress among lawyers, to projects on Big Data analytics for national security and law enforcement. Janet was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2002 for distinction in research achievements. In 2015 she was the joint recipient of the ANZSOC Distinguished Criminologist Award.

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