Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 73–84

Examining Rapport in Investigative Interviews with Suspects: Does its Building and Maintenance Work?


DOI: 10.1007/s11896-011-9087-x

Cite this article as:
Walsh, D. & Bull, R. J Police Crim Psych (2012) 27: 73. doi:10.1007/s11896-011-9087-x


Rapport is an important part of the interviewing of suspects, enabling them to supply information more freely. This study examined 142 actual interviews with suspects, focussing on key tasks that aid rapport. Using an established framework to examine rapport building skills in the early stages of interviews, the study also measured how skilled attempts at sustaining rapport were when interviewers attempted to gather information from suspects and probe accounts for their reliability. It was found that opportunities were often missed to build rapport in the initial stages as several tasks were overlooked. Also, where any rapport had been initially built, it was not always maintained as tasks undertaken later in the interview which may well have assisted rapport maintenance were often conducted unsatisfactorily. Thus, initial rapport building of itself, therefore, is not sufficient in influencing overall interview quality and outcomes, since rapport also has to be maintained throughout the interview.


Investigative interviewing Rapport Benefit fraud PEACE model Questioning suspects 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law and CriminologyUniversity of DerbyDerbyUK
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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