The police and crime
In the UK and most other countries, the police serve a wide range of functions. These primarily entail enforcing the criminal law and investigating criminal offences but include a variety of other tasks including giving advice on crime prevention, controlling crowds and regulating traffic (Bayley 1979). This chapter will examine a number of aspects of policing. First, the question will be discussed of whether there is a distinct type of person who becomes a police officer. Next, some consideration will be given to how the police determine who is a suspect in a crime and how different variables affect the way suspects are processed. There follows a discussion of some of the interview techniques employed by the police including techniques that enhance witness recall and the issues surrounding false confessions. Finally, there is an examination of the negotiation techniques that can be employed, for example, in hostage situations.