Prejudicial stereotyping and police interviewing practices in England: an exploration of legal representatives’ perceptions

Minhas, Rashid ORCID: and Walsh, Dave (2021) Prejudicial stereotyping and police interviewing practices in England: an exploration of legal representatives’ perceptions. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. ISSN 1833-5330

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Research studies suggest that at the initial stage of an investigation, negative stereotypes are triggered when officers make decisions concerning a suspect with their pre-existing racial/religious images for the group to which the suspect belongs. Such stereotyping is generally argued to be one of the major sources of partiality in criminal investigations. The present study examines the legal representatives’ perceptions of police interviewing practices when investigating suspects under caution. The present study conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with fifteen defence lawyers who had represented suspects from various ethnicities within England and Wales. The thematic analysis of interview transcripts revealed that (as perceived by the legal representatives) prejudicial stereotyping can influence police officers’ attitudes towards suspects from stigmatised communities. Additionally, prejudicial stereotyping was perceived to produce guilt presumption, self-fulfilling prophecies, and confirmation bias. These findings suggest that further training of police officers seems necessary to make them more aware of the implications of such prejudicial stereotyping to improve their investigation skills, and in turn, case outcomes, and community cohesion.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/18335330.2021.1889016
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism on 22 February 2021, available online:
Keywords: Prejudicial stereotyping; investigative interviewing; unconscious bias; legal representatives; police interviewing
Subjects: Law and criminal justice
Law and criminal justice > Criminal justice > Policing and criminal investigations
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rashid Minhas
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 17:54
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:04


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