Intoxicated Eyewitnesses: Prevalence and Procedures according to England’s Police Officers

Deborah Crossland, Wendy Kneller, Rachel Wilcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Despite the apparent role alcohol plays in criminal offences, there is at present no evidence available as to the extent of the problem of intoxicated witnesses within England. To address this lack of research, police officers from seven constabularies completed an online survey addressing issues such as the prevalence of intoxicated witnesses, how officers determine intoxication, the procedures employed and their effectiveness. Officers indicated that intoxicated witnesses were a common, to very common, occurrence with most officers determining intoxication through physical symptoms and the witness’s own admission. In terms of interviewing witnesses, the majority of officers indicated that initial details were taken whilst witnesses were intoxicated, but the evidential interview was taken when sober. Officers also indicated that if the witness was intoxicated then the case was less likely to proceed to court and that officers viewed the witness as less accurate. These findings are considered from a criminal justice perspective and discussed in relation to future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-997
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Volume24
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018

Keywords

  • Alcohol intoxication
  • eyewitnesses
  • interview
  • intoxication level
  • police procedures

Cite this

Crossland, Deborah ; Kneller, Wendy ; Wilcock, Rachel. / Intoxicated Eyewitnesses: Prevalence and Procedures according to England’s Police Officers. In: Psychology, Crime & Law. 2018 ; Vol. 24, No. 10. pp. 979-997.
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Intoxicated Eyewitnesses: Prevalence and Procedures according to England’s Police Officers. / Crossland, Deborah; Kneller, Wendy; Wilcock, Rachel.

In: Psychology, Crime & Law, Vol. 24, No. 10, 14.05.2018, p. 979-997.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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