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04/05/2021

Ampersand & Wayne Thomas – Advocacy Workshop on Dealing with Reluctant Witnesses

***Fully booked – waiting list now in operation***

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4.30pm to 6.30pm

In collaboration with Ampersand, Wayne Thomas, research psychologist, former government intelligence officer and FBI trainer is offering a 2 hour workshop on how to deal with reluctant witnesses. Ampersand is delighted that Wayne is able to offer this session for our members and guests and the limited places will be offered first come first served basis, with a waiting list.

Uncooperative subjects are a recurring issue frequently faced by police officers and legal professionals. Whether the subject is a suspect, a reluctant witness or a less than fully cooperative victim of crime. Each one presents a different challenge and there is no one size fits all solution. As with all human interactions we require a flexible approach.

Interviewers often talk about “overcoming resistance”. However, this puts too much of the emphasis on us. Thinking about the psychology of human interaction, a better way to approach this problem would be to look at it as “eliciting cooperation”. We need to approach this issue from the perspective of the subject, rather than our own perspective, if we are going to encourage change.

Objectives for this session

  • Examine the reasons why people can be reluctant to engage.
  • Use the social psychology of human interaction to suggest strategies for dealing with resistance.
  • Apply these lessons to interviews and courtroom situations

During this session we will be examining a recent murder case to illustrate some of the learning points.

Wayne Thomas is a research psychologist with over 30 years of operational experience. He spent 12 years of his career as a U.K. police detective, specialising in the investigation of serious and organised crime and the use of covert policing methods. This was followed by 18 years as a U.K. government intelligence officer working in counterterrorism investigations around the world. Wayne works in collaboration with U.K., U.S., and European agencies to train interviewers and investigators in science based, non-coercive interview techniques. He is an instructor for the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, the section of the FBI set up in 2009 by President Obama to interview subjects with high consequence intelligence. He also teaches interviewing to numerous police departments and prosecutor offices. These include the NYPD, LAPD, New York District Attorney’s Office, the California District Attorney’s Association, the Icelandic Police College and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

When not teaching Wayne is engaged in research into the behavioural and cognitive aspects of interviewing as part of the Hope Applied Cognition Laboratory in Portsmouth University, U.K. Together with colleagues in Carleton University and Thompson Rivers University in Canada he is engaged in research into cold case methodology; this involves the retrieval of hard to access memories while preserving the integrity of testimony. He is a Deputy Editor of “Investigative Interviewing: Research and Practice”, the journal of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group.

Instructing solicitors and members of Ampersand can register for this event by emailing Shawn McArthur, Deputy Advocates’ Clerk: shawn.mcarthur@advocates.org.uk

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