Cognitive Interviews are recognised as best practise for investigative interviews of witnesses across relevant jurisdictions worldwide; though police officers’ perceptions of the usefulness of some Enhanced Cognitive Interview (ECI) components sit awkwardly with empirical findings. This paper examines 33 ECI specialist trained police officers’ views which showed ‘build rapport’ and ‘report everything’ perceived as most useful. Furthermore, the study identified longer time-served officers as more confident in conducting the ECI than shorter service officers. Adult witnesses were perceived as most reliable with the ECI most useful for these witnesses while children <6 least reliable and thus less likely to benefit. The findings are discussed in relation to investigative interview training, investigative practise and research. The need for a simplified protocol for officers who are working in complex operational contexts is recognised.
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© 2013 Taylor & Francis.