Years of psychological research has demonstrated that the use of investigative interviewing methods based on up-to-date scientific evidence is important to ensure the reliability of child witnesses' statements. Ideally, professionals working with children are equipped with knowledge of memory functioning, as erroneous beliefs may impact how they handle cases of alleged abuse. Fifty police officers and 23 victim care officers serving the Royal Malaysian Police completed a 20-statement questionnaire assessing beliefs about memory functions and child investigative interviewing. The police sample also read a child sexual abuse case vignette and listed the questions they would ask the alleged victim in an investigative interview. Consistent with findings from other parts of the world, the beliefs of child protection professionals were not always in line with the latest memory research. Directive-type questions were used more than option-posing and suggestive questions. Findings are considered in relation to variations in culture and legal systems.
- investigative interviewing
- victim care officer