Specialist Interviewer Victims and Witnesses

Job Family Investigation
Job Sub Family Investigation
Code INV-INV-SD-Specialist Interviewer- Victims and Witnesses v1.0

Role Purpose

A specialist victim or witness interviewer undertakes interviews with victims and witnesses who have complex communication needs or vulnerabilities, witnesses who may be of critical importance to major crime investigations and where enhanced conversation management skills are needed. They will sometimes work in partnership with other specialists, such as an interview advisor, depending on the complexity or scope of the investigation.

Key Accountabilities

  • Provide specialist interview support to investigations by conducting or providing specialist advice around the interviewing of victims and witnesses to ensure that interview techniques and products are in line with all relevant guidance, legislation and policy.


  • Liaise with relevant others to consider specialist sources of support and determine specialist interview plans to support investigative objectives and enable the victim or witness to give their best evidence.


  • Use appropriate specialist interviewing methodologies to interview victims and witnesses with complex needs and vulnerabilities.


  • Liaise with an interview advisor to establish the nature of the allegation, identify information important to the investigation, explore and consider tactical options for the interview and to discuss any provisions required to support the victim or witness.


  • Ensure all procedural requirements and hand-over responsibilities are met at the conclusion of an interview in order to comply with policy and guidance and in support of the investigation.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior education and experience:

  • Must be PIP2 accredited


  • Must have completed specialist victim/witness interviewing training


  • Operational experience, including interviewing knowledge, in at least one area; Major Crime, Serious and Organised Crime (SOC), Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and/or Public protection interviewing and investigations.


  • Knowledge of relevant law, guidance, policy and process for interviews with witnesses and suspects, including Achieving Best Evidence (ABE).


  • Knowledge of the criminal justice system.


  • Good communication skills with the ability to listen, empathise, provide support and adapt language, form, and message to meet the needs of different people / audiences.


  • Skilled in the use of use IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.


  • Able to break down a complex problem into component parts and determine appropriate action in investigations.


  • Ability to work effectively in a team to achieve shared objectives, demonstrating awareness of individual differences and providing support and advice as required.


  • Able to review own performance objectively and to develop and follow an appropriate improvement plan.


  • Able to plan own work and plan ahead, as well as identify and mitigate risks to delivery.


  • Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders.


  • Able to produce clear and concise reports and other documents within best practice procedures.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Acquire and maintain PIP level 2 accreditation by keeping a record of recent experience of conducting different types of serious and complex investigations which evidences the knowledge and skills that you have gained.


  • Keep up-to-date with new and developing legislation (including current guidance on disclosure) and current national policing priorities e.g. vulnerability, that may impact on investigations and interview advice provided.


  • Ensure that case file management follows current best practice.


  • Keep up-to-date with new approaches to evidence based policing, including engagement with academics and others to support research if requested, and apply these to your work.


  • Ensure knowledge and application of ABE is maintained and developed


  • Maintain and update knowledge of law, practice and procedure relating to investigative interviewing.


  • Maintain and update knowledge of police training relating to investigative interviewing.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Assessed competence against relevant professional standards for this role is required to achieve PIP2 accreditation. Maintenance of this accreditation requires the demonstration of continued competence against professional standards as well as evidence of CPD, in line with the College of Policing guidance.

Links to other Profiles

  • Investigator PIP1
  • Investigator PIP2
  • Investigative Manager PIP2
  • Senior Investigator PIP3
  • Interview Advisor
  • Strategic Investigator PIP4
  • Head of Crime
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