Leicester student receives international accolade

Posted by vm64 at Jun 27, 2011 10:20 AM |
Congratulations to our Psychology student for the best student oral presentation.

Samantha Leahy-Harland participated in the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG) Annual Conference 2011 in Dundee, which was attended by a range of professionals involved in the interviewing of suspects, witnesses and victims. 

Selected as a winner by the Executive Committee, her presentation was one of the few that gained recognition from the 38 papers that were featured at the conference.

Currently in the final year of her PhD, Samantha is supervised by a leading Leicester academic, Professor of Forensic Pathology, Professor Ray Bull, studying the police interviewing of serious crime suspects.

In her presentation she looked at her thesis findings. For example, she looked at the role of the solicitor during interviews with suspects. A largely under-researched area, her findings challenge the perception that the solicitor can have a hostile, adversarial presence during the police interview. Instead, in a high proportion of interviews the solicitor had a fairly benign role; often they said very little, or if they did it was often to confirm procedural points. 

In only a handful of interviews did the solicitor live up to stereotype, but even in these cases the police interviewer remained calm and unflustered, dealing with the interruptions professionally and firmly. 

As Samantha is one of the first people to have obtained a large sample of real-life police interviews with serious crime suspects, which traditionally is very difficult to obtain by researchers, her work is unique and deserves the recognition.

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