Using Pre-Recorded Investigative Interviews to Improve the Quality of Complainant Evidence in Rape Cases
MetadataShow full item record
There is a sound empirical basis to suggest that the pre-recorded interview of an adult rape complainant made during the investigation should provide the court with more accurate, detailed and complete testimony than live evidence later given at trial. The timeliness of the interview, and the different questioning and interviewing strategies used by police when compared to prosecutors, are all likely to improve the quality of the complainant’s recall (e.g. Memon et al., 2010; Powell et al., 2005; Read & Connelly, 2007). Despite these potential improvements, pre-recorded evidence is seldom used with adults (Kingi & Jordan, 2009; Stern, 2010). In part this may be due to the limited systematic research that examines whether the potential benefits are seen in practice. The purpose of the present thesis was therefore to explore how using pre-recorded evidence may improve the quality of information complainants provide and thereby outcomes in rape cases. In the first two of three studies a mixed-methods approach was used to explore the perceptions of police (N=136) and then prosecutors (N=30) regarding the use of video interviews for investigations and evidence. A questionnaire firstly used a between subjects design to determine whether question type and interview format in a mock rape complainant transcript influences judgments about accuracy and decisions to charge. Next, perceptions about the advantages and disadvantages of using the video recorded interview were explored. Finally, a list of characteristics was rated according to what denoted an effective investigative interview. This was compared with how they rated the same characteristics for what provides the best evidence. The findings suggest that for both police and prosecutors accuracy, detail and completeness are three of the most desirable traits for investigations and for evidence.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Applied Psychology
Item Access Status
Signatures on pages xiii, 2, 18, 40 and 59 have been removed from this published version. Appendices A, B and C have not been published here. The removal of this material is necessary to comply with copyright. The full version of the thesis is available in print at the Griffith University Library.
Rape complainant evidence