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(p. 113) Under Pressure: Imminent-Threat Interviews with Terrorist Suspects 

(p. 113) Under Pressure: Imminent-Threat Interviews with Terrorist Suspects
(p. 113) Under Pressure: Imminent-Threat Interviews with Terrorist Suspects

Frances Surmon-Böhr

, Laurence J. Alison

, Neil D. Shortland

, and Emily K. Alison

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date: 27 January 2021

This chapter discusses the concept and potential issues surrounding “urgent safety” or “imminent threat” interviews. It also summarizes a series of observations of law enforcement officers’ performance during simulated urgent interviews across a series of training exercises. The authors’ observations (both from psychologists as trainers and police facilitators) include the following: (1) safety interviewing appears to require a different skill set from evidential interviewing; (2) officers struggled to communicate a sense of intensity, gravity, and urgency required of an interview that aims to obtain information very quickly to preserve life and maintain public safety; (3) in order to improve, interviewers must practice these sorts of interactions more often (they require deliberate practice and feedback with guidance); and (4) elements of interviewing and time-sensitive questioning in the military may offer a useful template of the intensity and urgency required in police safety interviews.

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