Psychology and study of the criminal minds and its relation with criminal investigation and justice has commenced more than 100 years ago when the psychologist, studied about the reliability of the witness and their confession of suspects, in court cases. The author has attempted to set out the relationship between the psychology and its role in criminal investigation, and how the lack of study and research of criminal psychology has led to miscarriage of Justice in Criminal Investigation.
This book is divided into two themes and 12 chapters, first theme ‘Macro’ is related to the issue of investigation process, and secondly the book deals with individual discipline ‘Micro’ within the investigation process. The book is structed in this way that chapter 1 to 5 talks about the first theme of the book and rest 6 to 12 chapter deals with next theme.
The author in the ‘Macro’ theme, has started the introduction by introducing the concept of victim of wrongful conviction and the disastrous impact of miscarriage of justice upon individual, and recognizes the “lessons to be learnt”. It further discussed about what the miscarriage has in common is that, the mentality of the Police officer from the early stage of their investigation, that they believe they had the ‘right person’ and throughout the investigative process sought to confirm this belief.It also talks about the other factor such as the pressure from public and media, might hamper the investigation procedure leading to miscarriage of justice. The authorends with understanding the reasons for miscarriage of justice and how the psychological research has made a huge contribution in ratifying the same. The author emphasis on lessons learnt from the experience and minimise their occurrence.
Furthermore, the dispute over whether criminal investigation is an art or a science follows some of the historical trends that led to the move in favour of professionalisation of the field in the criminal investigation. Aspects of Professionalising investigations programme (PIP) have also been explored, taking into account claims made about the process, and its impact on investigative practise. The author stresses on the lack of psychological influence in particular areas and the significance of organisational culture on the evolution of practise.
The discussion of psychology research’s significance to our comprehension of biases and mistakes in criminal investigation in the next discussion. The authors analyse the changes in criminal investigation rules with relation to the role that human knowledge plays in decision-making. The book clearly identifies fundamental human behaviour and how unconscious prejudice directly affects the investigation process. Finally, the author has reviewed the past and current relationships between psychological research and investigative decision-making practice and discusses the psychological research role in future improvements to investigative decision-making.
Then, we see how the psychological perception of the investigating officer has a direct impact on the evidence that is presented and gathered, as well as its importance in decision-making. The author addresses two main sources of evidence from eyewitnesses and suspects and focuses on video recording of such admissions and statements as it offers a chance to bring decision-makers closure to the actual crime and more reliable evidence is possible for the police, attorneys, and judges. The tussle between maintaining the presumption of innocence and effectively presenting the prosecution’s evidence is put to rest.
The term “vulnerability” and the definition of “vulnerable witness” are examined in the final chapter of this theme, with reference to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, where there has been an emphasis on this issue with both legislation and advice, since 1999. It talks about how suspects, witnesses, and victims’ susceptibility can skew police interviews. The author then illustrates how the police and courts have created creative methods for interrogating vulnerable people after examining this subject. The author closes with a discussion of the court’s study of vulnerability and can assess each decision’s legal and psychological justifications.
In the subsequent chapter, the new “Micro” theme is introduced. It concentrates on a specific area of research and discusses the implications of psychological theories of witness testimony and how they relate to identification evidence. Finding out accurate information from the witness is crucial to the criminal investigation since it reduces the possibility of a wrongful conviction and aids in identifying the perpetrators of the crime, which is likely the most important aspect of the investigation. The author has made it abundantly clear that improving the eye witness and identification evidence’s accuracy is crucial to lowering misidentification. The author also evaluates the validity of present criminal justice practises and emphasises the necessity of greater collaboration between researchers and practitioners.
The author then makes comparisons between three different nations as case studies and discusses how cultural variations are affecting changes in sthe way suspects are questioned. After all, questioning suspects as part of an investigation is not an isolated activity; it is actually one of the most contentious aspects of the process. The issue has also detailed previous research on verbal cues that can be used to trick people into telling the truth and acknowledged a brand-new area of study called “strategic interviewing to detect deceit.” The author advises practitioners to be open to discussing research and carving out research designs that reflect the issues that practitioners experience in order to increase the quality of such investigations.
Profiling, often known as criminal profiling, is the practise of inferring information about a suspect’s personality from specifics of how he or she behaved while committing a crime. Recent years have seen a considerable evolution in the job of the modern “profiler.” The author’s goal is to shed light on the current use of offender profiling and behavioural investigative advice as well as to outline the various psychological concepts, theories, and constructs that have influenced the growth of the profession to its present state. The author’s goal is to discuss how psychological study can be used to intelligence, specifically by looking at how human source intelligence interacts with it.
The author ultimately discusses the integration of evidence-based police training strategies within police organisations in relation to three different jurisdictions, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The author also acknowledges the significant influence psychological research has had and is having on several aspects of investigative practise, notably in regard to interviews for investigations. To guarantee that investigations are always supported by the greatest available research, policing must continue to use psychology research as a tool. It addresses training, which is something we think is vital for current researchers adopting psychological theory that works.
According to our theme, each chapter was written with the help of both professional practitioners and academics. Its goal is to provide the reader with an accurate appraisal of how psychological theory has influenced practise. The author has demonstrated the wealth of well-established psychological research and theory across many fields of criminal investigation, but the depth of this research is in part due to the relative prominence of each field, primarily due to high-profile cases of miscarriage of justice and historically significant events. It is less obvious, however, if real practise has changed to enable better decision-making, either in terms of the gathering of evidence or its application during a trial.
From the viewpoint of the author, we might draw the conclusion that comprehensive and meaningful application of psychological theory into the field of criminal investigation requires management of a variety of factors beyond the quality of the empirical knowledge and requires the collaborative efforts of the academic community and a critical mass of practitioners across all components of criminal justice systems, at all levels, and across nations.
The author has made an effort to comprehend the challenges faced by the investigator during the criminal investigation process, evidence collecting, and pre-trial processes by addressing the police administration, policy makers, and psychological experts. The book’s structure and content were chosen by the author in an excellent effort to captivate the reader with compelling examples and legal precedents. Although criminal investigations have evolved, there still has to be development and effective application of the same. One can comprehend how psychological factors might affect the criminal investigation and may result in a miscarriage of justice.