The PEACE interviewing steps are used throughout the United Kingdom and in many ways advocates techniques that are polar opposite to Reid techniques. It is a non-accusatory approach focused on gathering information and is used for victims, suspects and witness. The letters in PEACE represent the headings for the five-step process as follows:
P – Preparation and planning
- Obtain a deep knowledge of the case; know what evidence is available and how to get any other evidence needed;
- Create a schedule of topics to cover;
- Decide what needs to be proven or clarified
E – Engage and explain
- Build rapport by introducing yourself and anyone else present;
- Explain the purpose of the interview;
- Engage in conversation to set a relaxed and non-confrontational tone.
A – Account
Ask subject to recall the event in using either or both of the following approaches:
- The cognitive approach, which asks interviewees to describe the event by closing their eyes, drawing a map or sketch, or thinking about their feelings at the time. The questioner avoids interrupting or asking leading questions, uses pauses to encourage the interviewee to fill in gaps and asks the interviewee to again describe the events but in reverse order or from a different perspective;
- Conversation Management, which asks the interviewee to explain what happened and divides the story into sections to focus on each separately to get more detail. The interviewer questions aspects of the subject’s story that contradict one another or existing information but does so as a request for clarification rather than an accusation.
C – Closure
- Summarize main points of the subject’s account;
- Allow interviewees to correct errors or provide additional information;
- Answer questions and address concerns;
- Explain the next steps.
E – Evalution – After the interview, the interviewers reflects on their performance:
- Did you achieve your objectives;
- Were you able to build rapport with the subject;
- Are more interviews or inquiries necessary.
Source: The blog of i-Sight.com , a privately-held investigative case management company in Ottawa, Canada, that advocates PEACE to its clients.