chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

The chapters in this part of the book look at such issues as covert surveillance and informant handling, the treatment of victims and witnesses, investigative interviewing, offender and geo-demographic profiling. David Carson’s opening chapter examines different approaches to the task of investigation. He questions the extent to which it is appropriate to think of investigation as a scientific process and examines the nature and reliability of expert evidence. Carson analyses decision-making processes and, following a number of other contributors, notes that there is now a balance to be struck between analyses of evidence and the assessment of risk. The rise of risk-based assessment, at least as a basis for the management of investigation, has been paralleled by the emergence of an audit-based approach to criminal investigation. This focuses on the quality, and by implication, cost-effectiveness, of the ‘factfinding’ processes. In the event, Carson favours such a model, largely for its potential to enhance not only the investigative process but also the status and reputation of such work.