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Police Questioning and Cognitive Interview

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Police does take to physical action but that happens as the last resort. The first and foremost way to question alleged criminals in their role in the crime is to assess them by body language, their eye contact, the confidence levels displayed by them, the mode of speech which they have employed in order to pass their message to the police. All these psychological aspects play a major role in shaping up the investigation process for the police. Cognitive interview is a technique adapted by the police, which is used to interview people in order to retrieve their memory of crimes. The Cognitive Interview technique is a questioning technique used by the police to enhance retrieval of information from the witnesses memory. The interviewer tries to mentally reinstate the environmental and personal context of the crime for the witnesses, perhaps by asking them about their general activities and feelings on the day. This could include sights, sounds, feelings and emotions, the weather etc.1 Cognitive interview is the way the police try to get to the bottom of any crime committed in the town. In this process, the interviewer tries to mentally decimate the person who he is interviewing in order to get the maximum out of the situation. In the present interview of Stephanie Slater, one can figure out that she has been interviewed in a very crude cognitive fashion. It is pertinent to note the way Stephanie has responded to the interview and she tried her best to stay calm and acceptable of the process and the direction, which the interview has taken. The main process of the cognitive interview is to get the interviewee into the same stage, as he was when the crime took place. This is the most important aspect of holding the interview. The point of retrieving the same environment, which was at the time of the crime, helps the witness in getting back the information from his mind into real time perspective. This technique is highly informative and substantial for taking the information from the witnesses and the rest of the parties in the way that no other technique can match its quality and the delivery. In the interview, the police through cognitive experience in the mind take Stephanie to the sight of the crime. This is an extremely sensitive territory to wage in and therefore you need hard-core professional people interviewing the witnesses and criminals to get the complete story of the crime, which took place. Cognitive thinking is a psychological art, which is done by the experts at the police force. It is not child’s play and Stephanie Slater realized the seriousness of this scientific technique when the police was interviewing her. Strengths and Weaknesses: This part of the paper shall deal with the strengths and weaknesses of this technique and try to analyze the practical implications of the same. Witnesses are asked to report the incident from different perspective, describing what they think other witnesses (or even the criminals themselves) might have seen.2 The strengths of this process is that it puts the events in exactly the way they happened and allows the witness to travel that place of crime in his mind and depict the narration from what happened at the crime scene. The advantage is that most of the time the police is able to grasp what exactly happened at the crime scene and through that they are able to nab the killers. The style of police questioning differs from the alleged crime committed by the individual. However, in spite of all this there are certain rules to the way police questions, and the worse the alleged crime the worse the style of police questioning becomes. It is imperative to note that the method of police