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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Kimberly Collins is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law. She studied her first degree in Psychology at Stirling University where she stayed on to complete an MSc in Psychological Research Methods, and a PhD supervised by developmental psychologists Dr Martin Doherty and Professor Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon.

Her MSc and PhD work was funded by a 1 + 3 ESRC scholarship, and examined the impact of the rapport building phase on children’s verbal and non-verbal communication in child investigative interviews. She commenced her most recent post at Teesside University in June 2011, and completed her PhD studies in the winter of 2012. Kimberly has experience in teaching forensic and developmental psychology, and research methods at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Currently she is module leader for ‘Applied Forensic Psychology’, ‘The Psychology of Investigations’ and ‘Law, Justice, and Psychology’. Finally, she regularly participates in business engagement for the University and is on the School of Social Sciences and Law Business Engagement Committee, and is the early career's research representative for the school's research committee.

Kimberly also works as a registered intermediary for Triangle services. Her work as an intermediary involves assessing the communication needs of vulnerable individuals who are participating in the criminal justice system. Based on the findings of her assessments she provides recommendations to the police and criminal courts on how best to question these vulnerable individuals.

Summary of Research Interests

Kimberly is a researcher within the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University and is a member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, the European Association of Psychology and Law, and the British Psychological Society.

Her research interests focus on the facilitation of the communication of vulnerable witnesses, and sex offenders during police interviews and in court. Her research has a strong focus on both the role of verbal and non-verbal cues in communication. During her research she has collaborated with various UK police forces.

Kimberly is currently working on several research projects. The first is looking at intermediary assessment practice and the second is looking at the process of victimisation during human trafficking.

She is also working with Triangle services and Sussex police on a new approach for assessing children’s understanding of truth and lies during the pre-substantive phase of investigative interviews.

Kimberly has conducted several research projects looking at jury perceptions of intermediary work in the court room.

Finally, Kimberly is Director of Studies for two PhD students; Alex Smethurst and Rebecca Croser. Alex is examining the impact of the intermediary role on children's communication during police interviews, and Rebecca is exploring the communication of child defendants in court.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Kimberly has trained national police forces on how to build rapport with children and interview young children during investigative interviews. Kimberly is a trained forensic interviewer for vulnerable victims and witnesses.

Kimberly is an intermediary development officer for the North of England. This involves training practitioners about the work of intermediaries and supervising local intermediaries who work with defendants who have communication difficulties.

Kimberly has delivered training workshops on behalf of the National Crime Agency, OSCE etc. These workshops have focused on best practice for questioning vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system.

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Research Output

Communication Assessments: Informing Interviewers and Empowering Children?

Smethurst, A., Collins, K., Carthy, N., Milne, R. & Gillespie-Smith, K., 16 May 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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