Chapter 3


This chapter examined the broad range of issues that an investigator must consider in relation to the collection of information and evidence from witnesses to a crime. These issues range from the way witness evidence is classified and validated, to the way witnesses are assessed and evaluated to determine their ability to give evidence and the credibility of the evidence they give.

The chapter illustrated the processes required for proper witness management during investigations. These task processes of witness identification, classification, credibility assessment, and proper interviewing practices in statement taking are all components of witness management that demonstrate professional standards applied by a criminal investigator.

Study Questions

  1. What is a collaborative witness?
  2. What is an independent witness?
  3. Can an accused person be compelled to testify regarding a crime they have been involved in?
  4. Are all persons considered competent to testify?
  5. What is witness credibility assessment?
  6. What concerns should an investigator have about dominant witnesses?
  7. What should an investigator do in the case of an active event where immediate in-depth interviews are not possible?
  8. Is it possible to have a witness statement in something other than written form?
  9. What are two negative aspects of having a witness attempting to identify a suspect by paging through volumes of criminal file photos?


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Communications in Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System: Key Principles Copyright © 2021 by Steve McCartney and Cindy Patterson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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