This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Police Interrogation Manuals'.
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Investigative interviewing suspect guide 
This chapter contains these topics: 
Interviewing principles  
Planning and preparation
Engage and explain
Closure and evaluation
Unco-operative suspects
Co-offenders, multiple offences and gathering intelligence
Interviewing people in Department of Corrections custody
Fingerprint and DNA evidence
Suspects requiring special consideration
Deciding what procedures to adopt
Interviewing special consideration suspects  
Intoxicated suspects  
Linguistic or cultural background or religious beliefs
Disability, disorder or other impairment
Family violence
Children and young people
The interview record: statements and notes
The interview record: Court processes
Legal requirements: frequently asked questions  
Children and young persons: frequently asked questions
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In the interests of fairness, all suspects should be given an opportunity to be 
interviewed. They have a right to be made aware of any allegations against them and 
given a reasonable opportunity to provide an explanation.   
Investigators must attempt to gain as much information as possible to establish the 
truth of the matter under investigation. Interviewing the suspect may provide valuable 
information not obtained from other sources.   
These guidelines: 
•  outline skills necessary for conducting ethical investigative interviews that encourage 
suspects to give complete, accurate and reliable information 
•  detail procedures for: 
-  planning, engaging with suspects and explaining, conducting, closing and 
evaluating suspect interviews  
-  ensuring suspects are cautioned and receive appropriate advice about their rights 
under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and the Chief Justice's Practice Note on 
Police Questioning
-  managing interviews involving co-offenders and multiple offences 
-  introducing fingerprint and DNA evidence during interviews 
•  detail the use of the conversation management interviewing model  
•  provide guidance on dealing with lawyers during suspect interviews 
•  outline special procedures for ensuring fairness when suspects require special 
consideration, e.g. children and young people, suspects with a disability or 
impairment, or cultural background 
•  ensuring compliance with legislative requirements relating to interview records, 
particularly video records, and their transcription and use in court processes.     
Related information 
See also: 
•  Investigative Interviewing Witness Guide in the Police Manual  
•  the Investigative Interviewing Unit's intranet site (Services>CIB Crime Service 
Centre>Service Units>Investigative Interviewing) for information including: 
-  interview training information 
-  interview unit technology, transcription software and interview room set-up 
-  Investigative Interviewing Doctrine. 
If you have any feedback please forward any comments to: 
[email address]
Much of this document was developed with the assistance of materials from the National 
Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in England.  The Investigative Interviewing Unit 
gratefully acknowledges the generosity of NPIA in allowing the New Zealand Police to use 
its materials. 
Other material comes from:   
•  Milne, R. & Bull, R. (1999). Investigative Interviewing: Psychology and practice. 
Wiley: West Sussex. 
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•  Shepherd, E. (2007). Investigative Interviewing: The conversation management 
approach. Oxford University Press: Oxford. 
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Interviewing principles  
Who is a suspect? 
The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995 section 2 provides a definition of 
a suspect:  
'suspect’, in relation to an offence, means any person whom it is believed has or may 
have committed that offence, whether or not- 
(a) That person has been charged with that offence; or 
(b) There is good cause to suspect that person of having committed that offence.' 
Suspects are also witnesses to the offence who can potentially provide a detailed 
account that could be invaluable to your investigation. 
Ten principles of investigative interviewing 
Approach all suspect interviews with these ten principles in mind. (Refer to the 
Investigative interviewing doctrine for the detailed principles). 

Interviewing is at the heart of investigation. 

The aim of an interview is to discover the truth. 

Information must be complete, accurate and reliable. 

Keep an open mind. 
5 Act 

Questioning can be persistent. 

Some witnesses require special consideration

Suspects must be interviewed in accordance with the law. 

Care must be taken to identify suspects who require special consideration. 
Be sensitive to cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. 
PEACE interviewing framework 
Conduct suspect interviews using the PEACE interviewing framework. 
Step Action 

Planning and preparation: 
Review available information and establish interview objectives. 

Engage and explain:  
Develop rapport and explain interview processes and procedures. 

Account, probe and challenge: 
Using an appropriate interview model gain an account of events, probe for 
more information and challenge any inconsistencies. 

Conclude the interview and address any concerns. 

Evaluate how the information obtained impacts on the investigation and the 
performance of the interviewer. 
When to conduct suspect interviews 
Where ever possible conduct all other enquiries before interviewing the suspect.  This 
will allow you to plan properly for the suspect interview and effectively challenge the 
suspect on any inconsistencies with the evidence.  
For advice on investigative interviewing related matters contact the Investigative 
Interviewing Unit at Police National Headquarters. 
([email address]
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All investigative interviewing forms are located on 'Police Forms' under 'Investigative 
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Planning and preparation 
Planning and preparation process 
Consider these areas in your planning and preparation for interviewing a suspect: 
•  Interview objectives  
•  Investigatively important topics  
•  Suspect profile: identity factors   
•  Suspect profile: current state 
•  Legal requirements  
•  Interview structure 
•  Practical arrangements 
•  Interviewing people in Department of Corrections custody. 
Interview objectives 
•  Examine all available evidence - witness statements, scene examination, exhibits and 
other supporting documents. 
•  Take relevant extracts from witness statements/reports to assist in your written plan. 
•  Set the objectives for the interview (include covering identified investigatively 
important topics, e.g. obtain an account for the suspect's movements between 9am 
and 12.30pm last night; obtain the suspect's account for blood found on their 
•  For complex cases involving multiple witnesses and events you should prepare a 
timeline to assist with the interview planning. 
Investigatively important topics 
•  Identify possible offences committed. 
•  Consider ingredients and probable defences and decide how to cover these during the 
•  Understand the strength of the evidence and consider how to introduce any physical 
evidence and statements/descriptions from witnesses. 
•  Know the established facts and areas needing to be explored. 
•  Know the geographical area of the offence.  It is an advantage to physically examine 
the scene. 
•  Establish possible challenges, how and when you will introduce these. 
•  Decide what allegations to outline to the suspect if they invoke their right to silence. 
Suspect profile: identity factors 
•  Age and maturity. 
•  Race (if Maori include Iwi and Hapu), culture, religion and first language. 
•  Gender and sexuality if relevant. 
•  Any physical, intellectual, psychological or psychiatric impairment? (Be aware of the 
requirements under s28 & 29 Evidence Act 2006).  
•  Any welfare issues that may arise or special needs?  For example, is an interpreter 
•  Suspect's relationship to the victim and domestic circumstances.  
•  Current or previous contact with public services, e.g. previous Police contact, CYFS, 
health professionals. 
•  Employment and routines. 
•  Conduct a full NIA check including criminal history and records.   
•  Contact M.O. Section to get details about their modus operandi if necessary. 
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Suspect profile: current state 
Speak to other officers who have had contact with the suspect that day and consider: 
•  the suspect's emotional state, e.g. trauma, distress, shock, depression 
•  physical state, e.g. injuries, intoxication, tiredness.  Delay the interview if 
•  authority to search person/property for potential evidence and if/when a search 
should be conducted.   
Legal requirements  
Consider your legal obligations. You must caution and advise the suspect of their rights if 
there is sufficient evidence to charge or if you are questioning a person in custody. 
Interview structure 
•  Decide what interview model to use - this will usually be the conversation 
management model. 
•  Work out the interview's parameters and produce a written plan to use during the 
interview as a guide to your structure. 
•  Consider your opening question and investigatively important topics to be covered 
including possible offences, ingredients and probable defences. 
•  Consider what exhibits to produce, how and when. 
•  Establish possible challenges and decide how and when to introduce these. 
•  Decide what evidence you will seek the suspect's explanation for if they invoke their 
right to silence. 
Contingencies for suspect reaction 
Consider contingencies for the suspect's reaction, including what to do if they: 
•  are fully co-operative 
•  give you a dishonest account 
•  change from dishonest to truthful during interview 
•  refuse to be interviewed. 
Practical arrangements 
•  Decide: 
-  whether the suspect requires special consideration e.g. youths, those vulnerable 
for other reasons (also be aware of the requirements under s28 & 29 Evidence Act 
-  who should be present during the interview  
-  where and when the interview should take place (e.g. is the suspect in prison?) 
-  the interview's pace, likely duration and need for breaks. 
•  Examine the interview room and arrange seating (usually in the ten to two position). 
•  Check equipment.  Make sure the microphone is positioned directly between you and 
the suspect.  Have communication aids ready – including pen and paper for drawing 
sketch plans. 
•  Prepare exhibits. 
•  Decide whether you want the interview monitored and make arrangements 
•  Consider what is likely to happen after the interview (e.g. arrest, medical 
examination, photographs, fingerprints, DNA specimen requests, returned home).   
Safety considerations 
Suspects being interviewed may pose a danger to your safety and others in the station, 
as well as to the security of Police property and information. Ensure that: 
•  a designated and secure interview room is used wherever available 
•  a second officer is present or nearby to ensure you can control the suspect 
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•  the suspect is not left unattended and is accompanied to the toilet but allowed to use 
the facilities in private 
•  visitors, including legal advisers, are not left unattended while on Police premises, 
other than when in private consultation with their client. 
Take special care when video recording interviews to ensure the suspect is not left 
unattended near recording equipment. 
Note: The more restrictive the security surrounding a suspect while on Police premises, 
the more likely a court will hold that the person was 'in custody' and therefore, should 
have been given their caution/rights. 
Written interview plans  
A written interview plan: 
•  summarises the interview's objective(s) and provides a framework on which to base 
•  helps you: 
-  keep track of what's been covered and what remains to be dealt with 
-  identify areas where the suspect’s account conflicts with what is already known or 
has been suggested in other accounts 
-  identify new information while keeping track of the interview's objective 
•  gives you confidence and flexibility to conduct a professional and effective interview. 
Consider including in the plan: 
•  your opening question 
•  what is known and what needs to be established 
•  the investigatively important topics you plan to cover including possible offences, 
ingredients and probable defences 
•  when or if to introduce exhibits 
•  possible challenges  
•  what allegations to outline to the suspect should they invoke their right to silence 
•  any other relevant points. 
You may need to change or add to these points during the interview as the suspect 
introduces new information requiring clarification or challenging. 
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Engage and explain 
Your attitude to the suspect is a major contributing factor to how they respond. You 
•  treat the suspect with dignity and respect 
•  keep an open mind  
•  be patient - it may be frustrating but the end result will make it worthwhile 
•  empathise with their position 
•  not be judgemental - your role is to find the truth of the matter under investigation 
and being judgemental will impede this process. 
When you first meet the suspect 
Step Action 

•  Introduce yourself and others present and ask what they prefer to be 
•  Establish a professional working relationship with the suspect. Be 

•  Talk to the suspect in a manner and language they understand while 
remaining professional. 
•  Explain why you want to talk to them and the nature of the allegations. 
(E.g. "Mike, I am investigating a complaint of assault on John Brown. You 
have been named as a suspect and I would like to talk to you about this."

3 If 
caution the suspect. Explain what the rights mean and ensure the 
suspect understands. 

If they are not arrested or detained ask them to accompany you to the police 
station for interview.  Gain informed consent by ensuring they understand 
they do not have to accompany you and are free to leave at anytime. 

Keep accurate records of all interactions with the suspect using your 
notebook. If they make admissions or discuss the allegations, record what is 
said and get them to expand on that. Get as much detail as possible. 
If the suspect makes an immediate denial away from the station, 
acknowledge what they said but do not discuss further until you return to the 
station. e.g. "Ok Mike, I understand that you are saying you don't even know 
John Brown. We need to talk about this further at the station." 
Consider using the denial as a common ground for opening your interview at 
the station e.g. "Mike, when I spoke to you earlier you said you don't even 
know John Brown so we need to find out why he's named you as assaulting 

Discuss neutral topics and develop rapport (continue talking to them on the 
way back to the station). Keep a brief record in your notebook outlining what 
was spoken about. 
Ask the suspect about and make your own assessment of any welfare/medical 
issues. Always consider whether they may require special consideration
If suspect elects to speak to a lawyer 
As soon as practicable after a suspect indicates they wish to speak to a lawyer, you must 
provide them with appropriate means to consult and instruct one. 
Step Action 

If they do not have a lawyer or their lawyer is unavailable, give them the list 
of duty lawyers available free of charge. Ask them to select a lawyer. 
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Phone the lawyer and explain the current situation and reason for the 

Leave the suspect alone to speak to the lawyer in private. 
When you return to the station 
Do not conduct interviews off-record  
Start video recording the interview as soon as you are prepared and commence speaking 
with the suspect.   
Never engage in pre-interview interviews (engaging the suspect in an interview off-
camera in an attempt to gain admissions before video recording the interview). Judges 
view these interviews as inappropriate and there is a high likelihood of your pre-
interview interview and subsequent video recorded interview being ruled inadmissible. 
Procedures for engaging with the suspect 
Follow these steps to ensure transparency in the process of engaging with the suspect.  
Take these actions with the suspect in the room  

•  Enter the interview details in the interview room logbook. 
•  Check recording equipment and commence video recording the interview. A 
minimum of two VHS tapes or DVDs should be used to record the 
interview, designated as 'Master' and 'Working' copy. A third may be 
designated as the 'Lawyers' copy. 
•  Explain that you are recording what is happening to keep an accurate 
record of what occurs. (Talk to the suspect in a manner and language they 
•  Check everyone is visible in the recording and ask the suspect to speak 
clearly into the microphone. 

•  Write in your notebook: 
-  any events not already recorded that took place before arriving at the 
-  any rights given and anything said outside of the interview room, 
especially significant statements relevant to the investigation 
-  if the suspect was arrested or a search warrant executed, note how this 
-  if the suspect is there by consent, note how consent was gained and 
that you explained to them that they are free to go at any time.   
•  Read your notes to the suspect and ask them to sign your notes as 
accurate.  If they agree to the accuracy but refuse to sign, make a note of 

Inform suspect you want to video interview them about the incident/offence. 
If they refuse to have the interview video recorded, explain the advantages 
including shortened interview length, increased accuracy and fairness. Only if 
they still refuse a video recorded interview should you give them the option of 
audio recording or making a written statement. 

Commence the formal interview. 
Commencing the interview 
Follow these steps when the formal interview commences.   
Step Action 

Continue with the visual recording and: 
•  get everyone present to introduce themselves in a conversational manner 
and explain their role in the interview  
•  state day, date, time and place 
•  show the suspect the microphone and remind them to keep their voice up. 
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•  Explain that the interview's purpose is to provide the suspect with an 
opportunity to give their account and for police to check certain facts.   
•  Use the video interview aide memoir to ensure you cover all the 
introductions required.    
•  Outline the offence and explain the interview process and routines. Advise 
the suspect they will be asked for their account and then there will be 
questions for clarification. 
•  As per your notebook record, outline events that occurred before the 
interview commenced, e.g. when and where you met the suspect, any 
conversations that occurred etc 
•  Address any concerns about the interview process. 

Practice using open questions. Begin with ‘TEDS’ type questions to encourage 
the suspect to start talking. e.g. "Tell me about your job..." 
4 If 
caution/rights the suspect.  If you have already done this on a 
visual recording, there is no need to repeat it now unless circumstances have 
Question types 
This table outlines commonly used question types. Refer to the Investigative 
interviewing doctrine fo
r more information about appropriate questioning and non-verbal 
5 WH's + How 
Tell me 
Show me 
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Unless the suspect requires special consideration conversation management is usually 
the most appropriate suspect interview model.    
Using conversation management model   
Interview phase 

Free report  
•  Initiate a free report using an open TEDS type question.  
Ask the suspect to give an account of everything they 
know about the matter under investigation in as much 
detail as possible.  Allow for pauses and do not interrupt.   
•  Actively listen using minimal prompts not going beyond 
the suspect's account and reflect back what is said where 
•  Be flexible, adopt a neutral stance and keep an open 
mind throughout. 
•  Take notes of areas you wish to obtain more information 
•  If the suspect provides a very limited narrative, use TEDS 
type questions to expand on it and re-emphasise the 
amount of detail required. 
•  Summarise back what the suspect told you and check the 
accuracy with the suspect. 
Identify and expand 
•  Break down the suspect's account into relevant and 
suspect topics  
manageable topics. 
•  Set the parameters of the interview.   
•  Systematically expand on each topic using probing 5Wh’s 
+ How questions.   
•  Do not ask leading, multiple or forced choice questions. 
Avoid undue repetition of questions. Use simple, relevant 
questions.  Avoid using technical/police jargon. 
•  Keep a structure to the interview, using your plan as a 
guide.  Develop topics in a structured and logical way. 
Keep the suspect to the relevant topics.  
•  Avoid topic hopping as it is confusing to all. 
•  With each topic summarise what the suspect has said 
using their own words and link to the next topic.  Clarify 
exactly what is meant by the suspect's explanations.   
•  Repeat this process until you have covered all their 
Identify and expand 
•  Repeat the process for expanding suspect topics and 
cover all remaining investigatively important topics.   
important topics 
•  Ensure you have given the suspect an opportunity to 
provide their account of what happened before revealing 
the nature of evidence against them.  Cover off all 
possible explanations for the evidence.  If they are being 
deceitful, this will prevent them from twisting their story 
to fit with the evidence. 
Breaks during the interview 
To ensure continuity in the recording of the interview: 
Step Action 

Whenever a break is taken, state the time and reason for the break before 
leaving the interview room. 
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Keep video recording the entire interview even if there is a break in 
proceedings of up to 30 minutes or so. (Inform the suspect the video is still 
recording). Where a longer break is required, press the red 'Stop' button. 

When recommencing the interview: 
•  state the time and any relevant dialogue or events occurring during the 
•  ask the suspect to confirm your description of what happened during the 
Note: If possible, suspects should not be left in the interview room 
Regardless of the interview model used always challenge inconsistencies between the 
suspect's account and other evidence. This maximises the benefit of evidence obtained 
during the investigation.  
Follow these steps to challenge evidence. 
Step Action 

•  If there are inconsistencies between what the suspect has said and the 
evidence, you should challenge them by seeking an explanation.  
•  Before challenging the suspect consider having a short break in the 
interview to prepare your challenges. Let the suspect know what you are 
doing e.g. "I just need to consider what you have said to me and look over 
the evidence."
•  Structure the challenges so each is dealt with individually and generally, 
present the weaker challenges before the stronger ones, e.g: 
-  Challenge 1: inconsistencies within the suspect's account 
-  Challenge 2: inconsistencies between the suspect's account and witness 
-  Challenge 3: inconsistencies between the suspect's account and forensic 

Before challenging the suspect, let them know that there are inconsistencies 
between the evidence and their account e.g. "I have gone through what you 
said to me earlier and there are some things I don't understand..." 
Introduce each challenge by seeking an explanation following this process: 
•  You said... state the suspect's version of what is disputed 
•  We have... state the evidence that contradicts their version of events 
•  Explain that... ask them to explain inconsistencies between what they 
have said and the evidence. 
e.g. "You said you know nothing about the burglary at 12 Parrot Street on the 
12th of June because you've never been to that address. We found your 
fingerprints on the window sill at 12 Parrot Street. Explain that...." 

e.g."'You said that tonight you never laid a hand on Jane. We've been told by 
the doctor that Jane has recent bruising to her ribs and  eye. Explain that..."

•  Challenge evidence in a clear and focused way.  
•  Present evidence in a way the suspect can understand.  Clear up any 
•  Do not express opinions, as it is the evidence itself that is important.   
•  Avoid putting suggestions to the suspect about what happened.   
•  If there is no reply, use silence (pause for a long time) and then move to 
the next question. 
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You do not need to accept the first answer given but take care not to 
misrepresent the strength of the evidence.  Avoid repetitive questioning on 
the same point. However, re-phrasing the question and being robust at times 
in demanding an explanation is acceptable, especially when the evidence is 

Ensure you have covered all ingredients, probable defences, mitigating factors 
and motives. If the interview is being monitored, check with the monitor 
whether there are any more questions that need to be asked. 
Remain professional 
Always act professionally when challenging the suspect. Being too overbearing may 
render the interview inadmissible.  What might seem an acceptable risk to take in the 
heat of the moment may be viewed as unacceptable in the courtroom. 
Think of the challenge stage as presenting evidence that is inconsistent with or 
contradicts what the suspect has said or not said.  Do not be frightened to challenge but 
remember you do not have to call somebody a liar to make them realise you do not 
believe them. 
Never call a suspect a liar or say you don't believe them as this is opinion evidence and 
prejudicial and may affect the admissibility of your interview.   
Put challenges calmly and clearly allowing the suspect every opportunity to understand 
what is being suggested and to provide an explanation. There is no need for raised 
voices, offensive language or demeaning behaviour, and such behaviour may result in 
the interview being ruled inadmissible.   
Importance of listening 
During the interview you must actively listen to the suspect and consider how their 
account relates to the evidence.  By actively listening you will also increase the stress 
the suspect experiences if they are attempting to evade issues or lie.  
Unrelated information 
If a suspect volunteers information unrelated to the offence for which they are being 
•  continue with the interview and advise them their information will be discussed later  
•  take care not to imply or infer that the information they have given, or may give, 
could have a bearing on the present interview.  There must be no suggestion, implied 
or otherwise, that any promise or inducement has been held out to the suspect. 
Once the original interview has been completed, the suspect is free to give any 
information they wish. You do not need to video record any conversation about 
information unrelated to the offence in respect of which they have been interviewed. 
Allegations of misconduct 
If during the interview, the suspect makes any allegation against you or another Police 
employee, do not stop the recording.  Tell the suspect they will be referred to a senior 
Police employee when the interview is over so their allegation can be formally recorded 
and, if necessary, investigated. Continue with the interview and report the allegation to 
your supervisor immediately after the interview has finished. 
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Closure and evaluation 
Procedure for closing interviews 
Step Action 

On camera, at the conclusion of the interview, offer the suspect the 
opportunity to: 
•  playback the interview  
•  add, alter or correct anything  
•  ask any questions and have them answered appropriately. 

If the interview is conducted immediately or soon after the offence make sure 
you note their clothing and any injuries.  Consider recording these with 

Ask the suspect to read your notebook entries, bring to your attention any 
additional or incorrect information and endorse them as true and correct. 

Thank the suspect and those present for their time. 

To conclude the interview: 
•  explain what will happen next with the video record, i.e. it will be sealed 
and secured in the exhibit store until court 
•  state the end-time of the interview  
•  sign, seal and secure the master tape or DVD in the suspect's presence 
•  place the master copy in a secure video interview cabinet (usually located 
in the interview room) with a completed 'Electronic Interview History 
•  write the end time for the interview in the logbook  
•  retain the working and lawyer's copy of the interview with the file. 

Explain to the suspect what will happen next. Give them your name and 
contact telephone number. 

Prepare for future events, such as arrest, DNA sample, attending court, 
photographs, medical examination. 

End the interview in a polite, positive and prospective manner. 
After the interview, complete an interview evaluation using the appropriate form. Do this 
as soon as practical after the interview, while the information is still fresh in your mind. 
•  what information has been obtained 
•  how the account given fits in with other available evidence 
•  whether any action needs to be taken 
•  what further enquiries need to be made. 
The time taken to complete the evaluation will depend on the amount and complexity of 
the information divulged during interview. As a general guideline it should only take 
around 15 minutes. The evaluation is not intended to be an additional administrative 
chore, rather it should used as a tool that provides clarity to the investigative process.   
Self-evaluate your own performance: 
•  what did you do well? 
•  what could you have done better? 
•  what areas can you develop? 
•  how will you acquire these skills? 
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Unco-operative suspects 
Right to silence 
While it is only fair to provide the suspect with an opportunity to answer any allegations, 
all suspects have the right to silence.  This means that if they decide not to talk to you, 
you cannot compel them to be interviewed and any admissions gained after the refusal 
may be deemed inadmissible.   
However, despite any initial refusal, it is your professional responsibility to explain why 
you want to interview them and outline the allegations against them so they have a fair 
opportunity to provide an explanation.   
When suspects exercise their right to silence 
Follow this procedure when preparing for interview and engaging a suspect who declines 
to be interviewed.  
Step Action 

Always plan and prepare for the possibility of a suspect who exercises their 
right to silence by having a series of no more than three to five allegations, 
fully supported by evidence attained through your investigation. Be prepared 
to put each one individually to the suspect with an opening for them to 
provide some explanation. 

If they initially exercise their right to silence: 
•  explain why you want to conduct an interview (i.e. you have received a 
complaint) and describe the nature of the offence 
•  tell them you have spoken to other people but before you make a decision 
about the investigation's outcome, you want to give them a chance to tell 
their side of the story so you can establish the truth. 

If they agree to be interviewed continue with the engage and explain phase as 
with any other suspect and then progress to the account using the 
conversation management model. 

If the suspect still exercises their right to silence: 
•  inform them you will explain the allegations against them so they have a 
fair opportunity to provide an explanation but they do not have to respond  
•  explain the allegations to them fairly  
•  in your notebook record what you have said and any response to the 
allegations (verbal or non verbal) as this may later be used as rebuttal 
evidence should they give evidence that is inconsistent with what was said 
at interview. 

If the suspect decides to provide an explanation for the allegations, reassert 
their right not to say anything and confirm that they wish to waive their right 
to silence.  If they wish to proceed, commence an interview using your chosen 
Ask the suspect to read your notebook entries, bring to your attention any 
additional or incorrect information and endorse them as true and correct. 
Explaining the allegations to a suspect  
Explaining the allegations to a suspect is not an attempt to circumvent the suspect's 
right to silence. You are pursuing the goal of establishing the truth and showing fairness 
to them.  
State the allegations to the suspect so they have an opportunity to offer an explanation. 
If they give a genuine explanation, they may be eliminated from the enquiry. 
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Example of how to explain the allegations to the suspect 
"From our investigation we've located a witness who knows you and saw you at the rear 
of the Caltex Service Station on Main St, this morning at 3.00am.   Pause 
After we executed the search warrant at your home this morning a large amount of 
property which has been identified as being stolen from the Caltex Service Station was 
located in the vacant section next to your home. You were seen at the rear of the service 
station at 3.00am and at 8.30am property stolen was located next door to your home."  
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Co-offenders, multiple offences and gathering 
Consistent interview structure 

Where there is more than one offender for one offence, consider when planning whether 
to use a consistent interview structure for all offenders. 
If different officers are interviewing different suspects, make sure you compare notes 
when planning and preparing for the interview.  Consistency is especially important with 
investigatively important topics and the challenge phase of the interview.     
Coordination during interviews 
If interviews are occurring simultaneously, consider using an extra officer (e.g. a 
supervisor) to co-ordinate what is happening in each interview. Take breaks during the 
interview to compare what each suspect is saying to determine whether additional 
investigatively important topics need to be explored. 
Co-offenders statements 
A suspect may be given the co-offender's statement but should not be questioned on the 
content.  You can record any voluntary statements the suspect makes. 
Multiple offences 
Multiple offences can be dealt with on one record.  In case the offences are heard 
separately by the courts, deal with each offence separately during the account phase.  
Pause before introducing the next offence and reaffirm the caution/rights. For interviews 
relating to serious crime, consider using a new DVD for each offence to simplify the 
process should severance be granted. 
Gathering intelligence from suspects 
When gathering intelligence from suspects apply the same procedures as those used for 
interviewing witnesses. 
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Interviewing people in Department of Corrections 
Prisoner must consent to interview  

You must comply with the requirements of the Corrections Act 2004 and regulations 
under that Act when interviewing a person in Department of Corrections' custody.   
When is a person in Corrections' custody? 
A person is in the Department of Corrections' custody when they are: 
•  in prison 
•  in custody at court 
•  in Police custody under warrant of imprisonment where the police station is acting as 
a temporary jail 
•  in Police custody having been remanded in custody and en route to or from a 
Department of Corrections' prison. 
All prisoners are treated as having greater vulnerability than other suspects, therefore 
additional protocols exist for interviewing suspects in custody. You must comply with 
r107 of the Corrections Regulations 2005 and follow these steps: 
Interview phase 
Planning and 
•  You must contact the Prison Manager to gain agreement for 
an interview with the suspect, and arrange an appropriate 
time and room 
•  If possible, arrange for portable interviewing equipment so 
you can video record the interview. 
Engage and explain  On arrival at the prison, in the presence of a prison officer you 
•  explain to the suspect their caution/rights 
•  fairly inform them of the reason for the interview and request 
their consent to being interviewed 
•  if the suspect consents to interview, inform them they may 
choose to have the prison officer remain in sight during 
interview (if you prefer, you may also request that the prison 
officer remains in sight during interview) 
•  if neither you nor the suspect wants the prison officer 
present, arrange for the prison officer to be contactable by 
both the suspect and you at all times during interview  
•  inform the suspect that they may end the interview at any 
•  Conduct the interview in the usual manner being aware that 
the rights listed in 'Engage and explain' above continue to 
Restrictions on removing prisoners  
You cannot remove a prisoner from a prison for interview without the authority of the 
Department of Corrections' Chief Executive or their delegate (s62 Corrections Act 2004).   
You need an ‘Order to Produce’ under the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 to lay 
additional charges against the prisoner or remove the prisoner for court related 
proceedings. For more information about this process consult with your supervisor or 
local court orderly. 
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Fingerprint and DNA evidence 
Avoid early reference to fingerprint and DNA evidence 
Always remember when interviewing suspects, premature reference to fingerprint or 
DNA evidence before or during an interview may provide the suspect with an opportunity 
to fabricate a plausible explanation.  
Procedure when fingerprint and DNA evidence involved 
Follow the usual interviewing procedures with these variations, when suspect's 
fingerprint and DNA evidence is involved.  
Interview phase 
Planning and 
•  After deciding what investigatively important topics to cover 
in the interview (e.g. possible offences, ingredients and 
probable defences), consider any reasonable explanations 
that may account for the presence of fingerprint or DNA 
•  Plan when and how you will introduce the fingerprint/DNA 
•  Establish what challenges you have, and how and when you 
will introduce these. Fingerprint and/or DNA evidence will be 
at least one of your prepared challenges. 
Engage and explain  •  Consider how much information to disclose to the suspect 
(you must inform them of the crime they are being 
interviewed for). 
•  If the suspect has been interviewed before and the sole 
purpose of this interview is to discuss new fingerprint/DNA 
evidence, ensure you fairly inform them of the interview's 
purpose, e.g. to discuss new forensic evidence not available 
at the initial interview. 
Account- suspect 
Giving the suspect an opportunity to provide a reasonable 
and investigatively 
explanation for the fingerprint/DNA evidence is an investigatively 
important topics 
important topic you should cover. 
The suspect may provide an explanation satisfying you that no 
criminal suspicion can be attached to the findings, e.g. they had 
lawful access at the material time or a legitimate reason for 
touching the object the evidence was found on. 
Account - challenge  If the suspect denies being present or touching objects, disclose 
the fingerprint/DNA evidence to them during the challenge phase 
and seek an explanation, e.g. 'You told me that you know 
nothing about the robbery at the Wainui Shell Service Station 
because you have never been there. We found your fingerprints 
on the counter of this station. Explain that...'   
Note: Unless special exemptions exist, do not mention previous 
criminal history when introducing the evidence. Such history is 
not admissible evidence and may lead to the interview being 
•  If the suspect has provided a reasonable explanation and you 
are satisfied they have been eliminated from the 
investigation, thank them for their time and close the 
interview as usual. 
•  If they are still a suspect at the end of the interview, follow 
the procedures for suspects linked to offences by databank. 
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Suspects linked to offences by DNA or fingerprints 
It is not uncommon for someone to provide fingerprints or DNA to Police using an alias.  
To avoid the possibility that the databank sample was provided by someone other than 
the suspect, give the suspect an opportunity to provide fingerprints/ DNA suspect 
sample after the interview. The fingerprints/sample taken at this time will be used later 
as evidence in court should the matter proceed to prosecution. 
When person is still a suspect at interview end  
Follow this table, if the person linked to an offence by a databank hit is still a suspect at 
the end of the interview. 
Fingerprint hits 
DNA databank hit 
•  If the decision has been made to 
•  Regardless of whether the person is being 
charge the person, ensure 
charged or not, they should be asked for 
fingerprints are taken as part of the 
consent to give a suspect DNA sample.  
arrest process. 
•  Use appropriate forms and if they refuse, 
•  If they are not being charged, 
record this and give the suspect the 
obtain their consent, if possible, to 
opportunity to sign. 
give fingerprints and take them. 
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Right to have lawyer present  
It is the suspect’s right to request a lawyer and have one present while being 
Lawyer's role 
Lawyers present at interview are solely there to represent their client and give their 
client advice. Do not let the lawyer: 
•  answer questions on behalf of their client 
•  ‘put words in the mouth’ of the suspect 
•  introduce irrelevant matters 
•  give you instructions or interfere with or obstruct the interview. 
Do not be inhibited by the lawyer's presence - this is your interview and you should be in 
Interview phase 
Planning and 
•  Introduce yourself to defence counsel and explain the 
offence(s) you wish to interview the suspect about and 
whether the suspect is currently under arrest. 
•  If they have not yet had an opportunity to do this, allow 
defence counsel to spend some time with their client and 
provide them with a room where they can do this in private. 
This should not be in the interview room on camera. 
•  Set up the interview room so defence counsel is visible on the 
camera throughout the interview. Remember, you are 
interviewing the suspect not defence counsel, so arrange the 
seating to reflect this, e.g. seat the lawyer to the rear of the 
room rather than at the table itself. 
Engage and explain  •  Ask defence counsel to introduce themselves when the video 
recording has commenced and you are introducing those 
•  Ask defence counsel to explain what their role is. If not 
already volunteered by counsel, clarify that they are: 
-  there to provide advice to their client 
-  not to answer questions on behalf of their client or to 
suggest answers to their client. 
•  Defence counsel may: 
-  ask to take a break to speak to their client in private 
anytime during interview 
-  interject if they consider the interview is oppressive or 
•  If there is a break in the interview, ask defence counsel to 
leave the room or stop the recording during the break. Any 
discussions defence counsel has with their client are 
privileged and therefore should not be recorded.   
•  Follow these steps if defence counsel behaves inappropriately 
(e.g. answers questions on behalf of their client) to the extent 
that you believe their actions are obstructive and detrimental 
to your ability to gather accurate, reliable and complete 
information from the suspect. 
Step Action 
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Politely refer them back to their role as covered at 
the beginning of the interview.  If appropriate, ask 
them if they would like to speak to their client in 

If they continue to behave inappropriately warn them 
that if they continue you will have to stop the 
interview and they will be asked to leave. 

If inappropriate behaviour continues: 
•  stop the interview, remove them from the 
interview room and inform a supervisor 
•  provide the suspect with an opportunity to engage 
another lawyer. 
Provide defence counsel with your card so that they can contact 
you in the future. 
If a lawyer arrives at the station 
If a lawyer arrives at the station requesting to speak to the suspect, let the suspect 
know of their presence. If the suspect does not want to see the lawyer, get the suspect 
to sign a note to that effect and give this note to the lawyer. 
Be aware of entering into agreements with lawyers  
If lawyers advise you not to talk to their client without contacting them first and you 
agree, then you are obliged to contact the lawyer prior to any further interview of their 
You may decline the lawyer's direction that you not talk to the client without contacting 
them first providing you can justify why, and then you adhere to your general obligation 
to inform the suspect of their rights prior to any interview. Then if they wish to have 
legal representation they can request it. 
A suspect is entitled to speak with their lawyer in private. You must turn the recording 
machine off while this occurs and you must not listen on an adjoining monitor. 
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Suspects requiring special consideration 
Types of suspects requiring special consideration 
A suspect requires special consideration when their condition, disability, disorder or other 
characteristic may adversely affect their reliability or make them susceptible to 
oppression at interview. For example, the elderly, suspects with learning disabilities, or 
mental health problems may find the criminal justice process especially stressful, or 
even, traumatic.  
Suspects intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and those who speak English as a second 
language may also require special consideration.   
Children and young persons also require special consideration but are dealt with in a 
separate section of this guide. 
Special procedures may need to be adopted for suspects requiring special consideration 
to ensure their interview is conducted fairly. 
Deciding if special consideration is necessary 
Base your decision about whether a suspect requires special consideration on your 
judgement as to fairness to the suspect.  Use the ten principles of investigative 
interviewing to guide you and consider what you need to do to get complete, accurate 
and reliable information from the suspect.  If the suspect is disadvantaged in some way, 
think about what you can do to ensure they are treated as fairly as other suspects.   
Under sections 28 and 29 of the Evidence Act 2006 a defendant's statement may be 
excluded because of unreliability or oppression.  In relevant proceedings, the judge must 
take into account the suspect's physical, mental or psychological condition when 
interviewed and their characteristics including mental, intellectual or physical disability, 
whether apparent or not.  These factors are all relevant to deciding whether suspects 
require special consideration. 
Recording method 
It is especially important to video record all interviews with suspects requiring special 
consideration.  This makes the interview process transparent to the court by allowing 
them to see whether the interview was conducted fairly and reasonably without 
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Deciding what procedures to adopt 
Take each suspect's unique circumstances into account when determining whether 
special consideration is required.  There is not one formula that can be applied to all.  
Each suspect has their own individual needs and you should adopt procedures that help 
to meet those needs and assist you to: 
•  get complete, accurate and reliable information from the suspect 
•  minimise the risk of oppression 
•  provide the best evidence for court proceedings. 
Just because a suspect has been interviewed previously does not mean they are less 
susceptible to oppression.   
Initial action 
You may be the first police officer a suspect speaks to about an incident. It is your role 
to assess whether that suspect needs special consideration.  Do this in your planning and 
 or engage and explain interview phase.   
Reliability at interview 
Before you interview a suspect requiring special consideration do background checks 
and, if possible, talk to family members or relevant health professionals to find out 
•  full and fair communication with the suspect is possible, and 
•  they understand the nature and reason for the interview. 
If you believe full and fair communication is not possible, discuss this with your 
supervisor.  Adopt appropriate procedures as outlined below.  
Delaying the interview 
In some cases (e.g. when the suspect is intoxicated) you may need to delay the 
interview until the suspect is in a suitable state for interview.  If you believe it is unfair 
to interview the suspect at that time, give them the opportunity to be interviewed later.   
Make sure you keep an accurate record in your notebook about their condition and the 
basis for your decision making in case you are asked about it later in court.  
Explaining rights 
It is crucial that suspects requiring special consideration understand the caution/rights. 
Be aware that some suspects may be suggestible and tend to answer 'yes' when asked 
closed questions.  Ensure they understand by: 
•  using simple language 
•  breaking it down into small parts and checking they understand by asking them to 
explain each part back to you. 
You are responsible for ensuring suspects understand their rights. If in doubt try again 
until you are certain they understand.  If they do, continue your interview. If they don't, 
follow the process below. 
When suspects don't understand their caution/rights 
If the suspect still does not understand their caution/rights, arrange for a support person 
to be present as their representative.  Adopt procedures as you would with a nominated 
person by getting the support person to spend time alone with the suspect and explain 
to them their rights.  Remember the support person's role is to support the suspect and 
ensure they are treated fairly. 
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If the suspect still does not understand their caution/rights, arrange with the assistance 
of the support person for the suspect to speak to a lawyer. 
Interview model 
Make an assessment based on the needs of the individual as to what is the best 
interviewing model to use. Free recall is usually the appropriate interview model to use 
when interviewing suspects requiring special consideration because it minimises the risk 
of influencing the suspect.  At the end of the interview you should still challenge the 
suspect with any inconsistencies within their account and with other evidence. Make sure 
that you do this fairly and by seeking an explanation. 
If the suspect is difficult or uncooperative, use the conversation management model.  If 
you believe the suspect may be unreliable at interview or easily influenced use the free 
recall questioning style as much as 
possible and minimise summarising. 
Support person 
Always consider using a support person when the suspect suffers from a disability, 
disorder or other impairment.  Always use a support person if due to their condition you 
believe the suspect is not reliable
Having a support person present can have many benefits such as: 
•  ensuring the suspect's well-being and their understanding of procedures  
•  aiding your understanding of the suspect's needs 
•  reducing any suggestion of oppression 
•  helping you develop a working relationship with the suspect. 
Appropriate support person 
An appropriate support person is someone who: 
•  is an adult (of or over the age of 18 years) 
•  is not a suspect or witness in the matter under investigation 
•  you believe will not attempt to pervert the course of justice  
•  is available within a reasonable period of time (be flexible -to get the most out of the 
suspect it may be preferable to wait for someone they feel supported by). 
Appropriate support people include a parent or guardian, carer, whänau or family 
member, close friend or trained professional such as a mental health worker.   
Suspect usually chooses whether they want a support person present 
Usually the suspect should be given the choice of whether they want a support person 
and, if so, who they want to be present.  If they decline to have one present, and you 
believe one is required, discuss with your supervisor about what is fair for the suspect.  
Procedures when using a support person 
If a support person is used, adopt procedures similar to those you would use for a 
nominated person with a youth.   
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Interviewing special consideration suspects  
This section identifies key differences between the procedures for interviewing suspects 
generally and those requiring special consideration. It also identifies additional factors 
that need to be taken into account during your interviews for all suspects requiring 
special consideration.  
Further factors relating only to specific categories of special consideration suspects are 
detailed separately: 
•  intoxicated suspects  
•  suspects with different linguistic or cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs 
•  suspects with disabilities, disorders or impairments 
•  suspects involved in family violence incidents 
•  children and young people.  
Planning and preparation 
Plan and prepare your interview as for suspects generally but also take these factors or 
variations into account. 
Topic Consider 
Suspect profile: 
•  If relevant, sexual knowledge and experiences. 
identity factors 
•  Any learning or physical disabilities, specialist health and/or 
mental health needs. 
•  Effect of disorder or disability on the suspect's cognitive, 
linguistic and physical behaviour. 
•  Cognitive abilities (e.g. memory, attention, concept of time). 
•  Linguistic abilities (e.g. understanding and use of spoken 
language), English as a second language, cultural and 
religious beliefs. 
•  Family members/carers and nature of the relationship.  
Potential support persons. 
•  Current or previous contact with public services (including 
previous allegations of abuse, previous experience of an 
investigative interview). 
•  Employment and routines (particularly important in 
institutional or community care settings). 
•  Special needs the suspect may have when providing their 
account and to avoid any suggestion of oppression, e.g. 
support person or interpreter. 
Suspect profile: 
•  Emotional state, e.g. trauma, distress, shock, depression, fear 
current state 
of intimidation/recrimination. 
•  Likely impact of recalling traumatic events on the suspect's 
•  Recent significant stress (for the suspect and/or family, e.g. 
bereavement, sickness, domestic violence, job loss, moving 
house, divorce). 
•  Whether currently in a safe environment.  
•  Conduct a pre-interview assessment of the suspect to 
supplement information referred to above in identity profile.  
Based on this information consider the level of competency of 
the suspect. If you are unsure consult your supervisor. 
Legal requirements  •  Should they be given their caution/rights? 
•  Do they need a support person, and if so, any potential 
complications. e.g. additional practical arrangements may 
need to be made 
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Interview model 
Decide what interview model to use depending on the level of 
the suspect's compliance and their vulnerability. 
For most special consideration suspects, the free recall model 
with a challenge phase is ideal because it limits any suggestion 
of oppression.  Use your judgement and be prepared to change 
the model during the interview. 
Contingencies for 
suspect reaction 
•  whether the interview needs to be run over more than one 
session (e.g. when there is lots to be covered, or the suspect 
loses concentration or tires easily)   
•  potential blocks to communication and methods for 
approaching them 
•  arrangements that encourage the suspect to move around the 
room if they find it difficult to sit still for more than a short 
•  the suspect's willingness to talk in a formal setting to a police 
officer, social worker or other trained interviewer, or whether 
a location outside of the police station is desirable. 
Engage and explain 
Engage with and explain procedures to special consideration suspects as for suspects 
generally but also take these factors or variations into account. 
Topic Action 
Preparing the 
•  Explain that the support person's role is to: 
suspect for the 
-  support them  
-  ensure they understand their rights. 
•  Ask the suspect to choose a support person (if the chosen 
person is inappropriate, ask the suspect to choose another) 
and contact that person.  
•  Explain to the support person what is happening and ask 
them to attend the interview. 
•  While waiting for the support person, discuss neutral topics 
and develop rapport.  Keep a record in your notebook of what 
was spoken about. 
•  Ask the suspect about any welfare/medical concerns. 
Preparing the 
In the suspect's presence: 
support person for 
•  explain to the support person that their role is to: 
-  ensure the suspect understands their caution/rights  
-  support the suspect before and during interview or 
questioning (if they agree to answer questions) 
-  not answer questions on behalf of the suspect. 
•  go through the suspect's caution/rights.  Answer any 
questions they have 
•  explain why you want to interview the suspect and the 
processes involved. 
Leave the suspect and support person in private for a reasonable 
time to allow them to discuss the caution/rights and interview 
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Video recording 
•  In the support person's presence, inform the suspect you 
want to interview them by video recording and explain what 
this means.  Ensure you cover advantages of video recording.  
•  Only if they refuse a video recorded interview give them the 
option of audio only and then making a written statement
This should be avoided wherever possible as the video record 
will capture their condition at the time of interview. 
When the interview  •  Explain the interview process. 
•  Confirm events that have occurred prior to interview including 
the steps you have taken to ensure the interview is fair. 
•  Start with questions about background information. 
•  Assess the suspect's language and cognitive skills. 
Select the most appropriate interview model depending on the suspect's profile - identity 
factors and current state.  If you believe the suspect may be unreliable at interview or 
easily influenced, use the free recall model and questioning style to ensure you get a 
true and accurate account from them. 
Free recall questioning style 
Do... Explanation 

Keep questions short and simple 
The younger or more vulnerable the 
person, the shorter and more simply 
phrased the questions need to be. 
Ask questions in a language and manner 
E.g. open TEDS type questions in simple 
the person understands 
Move to probing 5WH's + How questions 
•  Avoid the why questions unless 
when open questions are no longer fruitful 
absolutely necessary and the question 
and more detail is required.  Begin with 
is couched in a very empathetic way - 
the least explicit version of the probing 
the suspect may think you are blaming 
•  The drawback of using specific closed 
questions is that the suspect might 
respond with one of the available 
choices without expanding on their 
answer or they might be tempted to 
guess in the absence of a genuine 
Check with any support person wording or  Examples: 
phrases you think the suspect may find 
•  the term 'penis' may not be understood 
difficult or for which the suspect may have 
but the term 'dick' may.  
a different meaning than that commonly 
•  'aunty' means parent's sister to most 
people but to others it also may include 
long-term female family friend. 
Avoid topic hopping (rapidly moving from 
one topic to another and back again) 
Avoid interrupting 
Some vulnerable suspects may speak 
slowly and pause for longer. 
Avoid repeating questions 
The suspect might infer that their initial 
response was incorrect. 
Avoid developmentally inappropriate 
E.g. some suspects might find questions 
relating to matters such as time, date, 
height, length, weight, age etc difficult 
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Only use leading questions (one implying 
If a suspect responds to a leading 
the answer or assuming facts that are in 
question with relevant information that 
dispute) as a last resort 
has not been led by the question, revert 
to open or specific questions. 
Avoid asking inappropriate closed 
The suspect may want to please by saying 
questions which require a 'Yes'/'No' 
You can challenge special consideration suspects but remember the reasonableness of 
your challenge will be determined by the suspect's characteristics and vulnerability.  
Written statements 
Follow the usual processes for suspect written statements but also: 
•  include the support person's details 
•  ask both the suspect and support person to: 
-  read over the statement (the suspect should also be given the opportunity to make 
any alterations) 
-  endorse the statement as true and correct 
If there are any doubts as to the suspect's ability to read, have their support person read 
the statement to them and endorse the statement as having been read to the suspect.  
The suspect should endorse the statement as having been read to them, and as true and 
Closure and evaluation 
Make sure you advise the support person and suspect about what will happen now and 
give them both your contact details. Close and evaluate the interview in the usual 
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Intoxicated suspects  
Procedures when interviewing intoxicated suspects 
Follow the usual interviewing procedures with the variations outlined in this table when 
interviewing a suspect who has consumed drugs or alcohol. 
Interview phase 
Planning and preparation 
Consider whether the interview should be delayed, taking 
these factors into account: 
•  fairness and reliability- whether the level of 
intoxication prevents the suspect from appreciating the 
significance of the questions asked and their replies. If 
they do not, the interview may be ruled inadmissible 
as unreliable or influenced by oppression (ss28 & 29 
Evidence Act 2006)  
•  whether they understand their caution/rights 
•  their ability to communicate 
•  the practicality of delaying the interview (including the 
requirement to bring them before the courts as soon 
as reasonably practicable). 
Note: If delaying your interview, it may still be 
appropriate to conduct a brief interview to capture the 
condition the suspect was in should this later be required 
in court, i.e. to establish why the suspect was not 
interviewed earlier. 
Engage and explain 
•  Ask open questions about a neutral topic to encourage 
the suspect to start talking. 
•  Evaluate their responses and explain the interview 
process to ensure they understand what is happening. 
•  Reassess whether now is the most appropriate time to 
conduct the interview. 
Account Use 
appropriate interview model. 
When addressing the investigatively important topics 
make sure you cover: 
•  what alcohol or drugs they have consumed, the 
quantity and over what period of time 
•  their level of intoxication now and at the time of the 
•  how they are currently feeling. 
Leave them your card so they can contact you if they 
wish to speak to you again. 
Consider if you should re-interview them when they are 
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Linguistic or cultural background or religious beliefs 
Different cultural or religious beliefs 
Suspects have different linguistic or cultural backgrounds.  English may not be their first 
language and they may behave differently and have different needs at interview.  
Be sensitive to the suspect's needs and consider seeking advice from someone of the 
same culture or religion, e.g. a Police employee who has the same background or is an 
expert in that area (e.g. Iwi Liaison Officer or Asian Crime Investigator), an interpreter 
or other expert. 
Using interpreters 
Use a suitably qualified interpreter if the suspect: 
•  does not have sufficient proficiency in the English language to understand the 
interview if conducted in English and to convey their answers clearly  
•  has a communication disability. 
Ask the suspect what language they prefer to be interviewed in if you have any concerns 
about their proficiency in English.    
Hearing impaired witnesses  
If the suspect is hearing impaired, contact the New Zealand Deaf Association (they offer 
a 24 hour interpreter service). 
Procedures when using interpreters at interview 
Follow the usual interviewing procedures with the variations outlined in this table when it 
is necessary to interview a suspect through an interpreter. 
Interview phase 
Planning and 
•  Establish whether an interpreter is required. Find out the 
country they come from and the exact language they speak 
(e.g. a Chinese person may speak Mandarin or Cantonese).   
•  Arrange for an interpreter using the contracted interpreting 
service or your station's list of interpreters (ideally you 
should use a professional interpreter rather than a Police 
employee). Provide the interpreter with an outline of the 
nature of the incident and the reason for interview e.g. 
suspect for a family violence incident. 
•  Ascertain whether the interpreter is an appropriate person to 
assist. They must be: 
-  able to write and speak the language of the suspect 
-  impartial and independent, e.g. has no prior knowledge of 
the suspect or witnesses involved in the investigation. 
•  If they know any of the parties involved in the investigation 
(including the suspect), they should only be used in 
exceptional circumstances, i.e. no one else is available and 
the interview cannot be delayed.  The extent of the 
connection should also be taken into account when making 
this decision.  If you use an interpreter who knows the 
parties involved make sure you keep a record of your 
rationale in your notebook or on a jobsheet.   
•  Ask the interpreter for their qualifications and contact details 
or those of their organisation. Record these in your 
•  Video record the interview if possible. This makes the 
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process more efficient and provides an accurate record of 
what was said if the quality of interpretation later becomes 
an issue.   
•  Prepare for the interview in the usual manner.   
•  When the interpreter arrives: 
-  allow the interpreter the opportunity to brief both you and 
the suspect on their professional role and how they will 
conduct themselves 
-  if necessary, inform the interpreter their role is to 
interpret your questions and the suspect's answers back 
to you  
-  their interpretation should be as direct as possible in 'first 
person'. They should not enter into general discussion 
with the suspect. 
•  Make sure the interpreter understands the caution/rights.  
Instruct them to clearly explain these to the suspect to 
ensure the suspect understands.  
•  Answer the interpreter's questions about the interview 
•  Consider seeking advice from the interpreter about any 
communication issues that may arise. 
•  Discuss the aims and objectives of the interview with the 
interpreter, e.g. to gain a detailed and accurate account 
from the suspect about what happened at Travers Inn last 
•  Discuss the interpreter's needs for breaks during the 
interview (interpreting may be tiring, especially signing. 
Quality interpreting means quality information). 
Engage and explain 
•  Using the interpreter, complete the usual engage and 
explain process as you would for any other suspect. Where 
appropriate inform the suspect of their caution/rights with 
the aid of the interpreter. 
•  While video recording the interview: 
-  ask the interpreter to introduce themselves, explain their 
role, experience and qualifications. (They may later be 
required to give evidence in respect of their knowledge 
and experience). 
-  explain the interpreter's role as detailed above 
-  ensure the interpreter is clearly visible during the 
•  Complete the account phase using an appropriate interview 
model. Your questions are interpreted to the suspect in their 
language and their answers interpreted back to you.  
•  For safety and impartiality reasons make sure the 
interpreter leaves the room with you if you take any 
interview breaks. 
•  Complete the closure processes as usual. 
•  Before the interpreter leaves, ensure you have their full 
contact details (or that of their agency). 
•  Conduct an interview evaluation in the usual manner. 
•  Ensure the appropriate forms are completed to initiate 
payment of the interpreter. 
Written statements 
With written statements ensure: 
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•  the interpreter's name and role is included in the statement 
•  the statement contains a complete record of the interview in English and the suspect's 
Example for a written statement with an interpreter 
Step Action 

You write the question in English. 

The interpreter writes directly under each question: 
•  translation of the question in the suspect’s language  
•  suspect's response in their language  
•  the English translation of the suspect's response is recorded directly below. 
At the end, invite: 
•  the suspect to: 
-  read the statement in their own language and make corrections or additions 
-  endorse the statement by writing in their own language: 'This statement is true 
and correct. I have nothing further to add' and signing the statement 
•  the interpreter to certify the translation as accurate i.e. 'I have accurately translated 
this statement to the best of my ability.' 
Endorse the statement as you usually would. 
Any transcript prepared from the interview should include the English questions and the 
interpreter's English reply. Refer to the video record if there are concerns about the 
accuracy of the interpretation. 
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Disability, disorder or other impairment 
A number of physical, intellectual, psychological or psychiatric impairments may affect a 
suspect's ability to make a reliable statement.  Impairments can also make the 
investigation process more difficult or stressful for the suspect.  
It is important you identify suspects affected by impairments, give them special 
consideration and take appropriate steps to ensure: 
•  their well-being 
•  they understand what is happening. 
Impairment examples  
Examples of people with physical, intellectual, psychological or psychiatric impairment 
include those:  
•  with a diminished capacity to provide a reliable account because they have a: 
-  mental disorder 
-  significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning 
-  physical disability or are suffering from a physical disorder 
-  significant impairment from alcohol or drug abuse 
•  with learning disabilities 
•  with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia 
•  suffering from hearing or speech impairments. 
Identifying suspects with an impairment 
Use information in the 'Disability, disorder or other impairment' section in the 
"Investigative Interviewing Witness Guide" to assist you to: 
•  identify suspects with a disability, disorder or impairment that may impact on the 
reliability of their statement 
•  identify factors relating to particular types of disabilities or impairments that may 
make the suspect vulnerable during interview  
•  determine appropriate actions to be taken during the interview (e.g. obtain support of 
carers or other support people) to ensure the suspect understands what is happening 
and provides admissible evidence.    
Planning and preparation 
When planning and preparing for the interview, consider these investigatively important 
•  'fitness to plead' in the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003  
•  'insanity' under section 23 Crimes Act 1961
There is still a requirement to prove your case even where a person may be 
subsequently found to be suffering from a mental impairment. 
Interview model 
To minimise the risk of influencing the suspect use the free recall interview model and 
questioning style
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Family violence 
Interview model 
Interviews for suspects in family violence incidents should be conducted using the 
conversation management interview model.   
Investigatively important topics 
Cover the following during the account interview phase under investigatively important 
•  history, current status and any future intentions regarding the relationship between 
the suspect and victim 
•  relationship with other family members (especially those who might be witnesses) 
•  suspect's character and motive for committing the offence 
•  circumstances leading up to the offence 
•  previous violence or abuse in the relationship 
•  future residence 
•  relationship with children and contact agreements if applicable  
•  what the suspect thinks the victim will be saying to Police. 
Victim to put allegations to suspect 
As outlined in the Family violence policy and procedures you should ask the victim to put 
the allegations to the suspect in your presence. 
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Children and young people 
Children and young persons defined 
A child is defined by the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 as a boy or 
a girl under the age of 14 years.  
A young person is a boy or girl of or over the age of 14 years but under 17 years (not 
including anyone that is or has been married or in a civil union).   
Entitlement to special protection 
Section 208 Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 details a number of 
youth justice principles to guide courts and people exercising powers under the youth 
justice parts of the Act. In the context of investigation, principle (h) is important: 
'The principle that the vulnerability of children and young persons entitles a child or 
young person to special protection during any investigation relating to the commission 
or possible commission of an offence by that child or young person.' 
Strict legal requirements  
Because of the strict legal requirements of the Children, Young Persons and Their 
Families Act 1989, if you are interviewing a child or young person suspect/offender, you 
•  contact Youth Aid section to consider how the offending should be dealt with (e.g. 
release, arrest, seeking a declaration that the child or young person is in need of care 
or protection or a custody order in the Family Court, or whether to commence 
proceedings in the Youth Court). Note that there are limitations on the arrest of 
children and young persons in section 214 CYPF Act 
•  ensure that before you conduct the interview you are aware of and comply with the 
requirements of sections 215 to 231 for a child's or young person's statement to be 
admissible and:   
-  comply with the Chief Justice Practice Note on Police Questioning requirements 
-  inform the child or young person of the reason for the interview  
-  before interview, inform their parents or guardian that they are at the station for 
questioning or interview  
-  conduct the interview in the presence of a nominated person and/or if requested, a 
Children and young people suspected of committing an offence must be dealt with fairly 
and the courts adopt a strict approach to confessions obtained outside the spirit of the 
Nothing in section 221 prevents the admissibility of an oral statement spontaneously 
made before you have had a reasonable opportunity to comply with the rights of the 
child or young person set out in section 221.  
Other legal requirements 
For more information about legal requirements refer to Children and Young Persons: 
Frequently asked questions in this guide.  
Nominated persons 
A child or young person can consult with before interview, and have present during 
interview, a lawyer and nominated person of their choice. The nominated person must 
•  the child or young person's parent or guardian, or 
•  an adult member of the child or young person's family, whanau or family group, or 
•  any other adult (of or over 20 years) selected by the child or young person. 
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(s221(1) and s222 Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989).   
You may only refuse to use the chosen nominated person if you believe on reasonable 
grounds that: 
•  if they are permitted to consult with the child or young person they would attempt or 
be likely to attempt, to pervert the course of justice, or 
•  they cannot with reasonable diligence be located, or will not be available within a 
period of time that is reasonable in the circumstances. (Courts have held waits in 
excess of an hour are not unreasonable and you must be able to demonstrate 
reasonable and diligent enquiries were made).  
If either of these grounds exist, ask the child or young person to nominate another 
Refusal or failure to nominate a person 
If the child or young person refuses or fails to nominate a person, ask them to nominate 
someone from the schedule of nominated persons held at the station. If they are unable 
or unwilling to do that, select the person yourself from the schedule.  
Potential witnesses 
If the nominated person selected by the child or young person is also a potential 
•  interview them before interviewing the child or young person 
•  assess their response to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe 
they would, or are likely to, attempt to pervert the course of justice.  For example, if 
a person states that their son was at home and you have contrary evidence, 
determine whether this is a genuine belief or whether they are deliberately misleading 
Informing parents or guardians 
If a child or young person is at a Police station for questioning you must inform one of 
the following persons that they are there for questioning or arrest: the parents or 
guardians, adult member of family/whanau or nominated person (s229 and s231 
Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989). If the nominated person is not the  
parent, guardian or caregiver, or the child or young person does not nominate a person, 
then the parent, guardian or caregiver must also be informed unless impractical to do so 
Use a checklist to ensure legal requirements are met 
Complete a 'Youth Checklist' (located in police forms, which briefly sets out your legal 
requirements) when interviewing children or young people as suspects so you have an 
accurate record of events.  Attach the original to the file or tape it in your notebook at 
the time of interview (to avoid defence counsel alleging it was completed at a later 
time). If a checklist is not available, make a detailed record of events in your notebook.  
A 'Youth Rights Aide Memoir' can also help to ensure you have met all legal 
The checklist: 
•  can be referred to in court as your notes made at the time 
•  is usually the first document defence counsel and prosecutors examine when 
determining whether a suspect’s confession may be ruled inadmissible.   
Procedures when interviewing children and young people  
Follow the usual procedures for interviewing suspects when interviewing children and 
young people, but with these variations. 
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Planning and preparation  
Interview phase 

Variations or actions to take 
Consider ingredients and probable defences. e.g. for an 
important topics 
offender under 14, that they knew the act or omission 
constituting the offence was wrong or contrary to law. 
Suspect profile: 
•  Any physical, intellectual, psychological or psychiatric 
identity factors 
impairment, specialist health and/or mental health needs. 
•  Cognitive abilities (e.g. memory, attention, concept of time). 
•  Linguistic abilities (e.g. understanding and using spoken 
•  Family members/carers and nature of relationships.  
Potential nominated persons
•  Routines (e.g. school, courses, work). 
•  After conducting a full NIA check, contact Youth Aid Section 
to see if they have any additional records. If so, examine 
their file and contact the Youth Aid Officer who has dealt 
with them.  
•  Current or previous contact with public services (including 
previous allegations of abuse, concerns about parenting, 
experience of an investigative interview). 
•  Consider any welfare issues that may arise. 
Suspect profile: 
•  Any significant stress recently experienced by the child 
current state 
and/or the family (e.g. bereavement, sickness, domestic 
violence, racism, job loss, moving house, divorce and so 
•  Whether currently in a safe environment. 
Legal requirement s 
•  Do you need to give them their rights:  
-  are there reasonable grounds to suspect they have 
committed an offence? 
-  are you asking questions intended to obtain an 
•  Is there a need for a nominated adult and are there any 
potential complications (e.g. if they are a witness)? 
Interview structure 
Decide what interview model to use- in most cases this will be 
the conversation management model. 
•  Consider the suspect's willingness to talk in a formal setting 
to a police officer. i.e. what is the best location for the 
•  What documents do you need to assist the process - youth 
checklist, guidance for nominated persons, interview plan, 
note taker. 
Engage and explain  
Take these additional steps when engaging with and explaining proceedings to the 
suspect and/or nominated persons. 
Step Action 

Keep an accurate record of all interactions with the suspect using the youth 
checklist and your notebook. 

If required, give them the caution/rights under section 215 of the Act. Ensure 
they understand by: 
•  explaining in an appropriate language and manner e.g. using simple 
•  breaking it down into small parts and checking they understand by asking 
them to explain each part back to you.  
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Remember they can consult with before interview, and have present during 
interview, a lawyer and nominated person of their choice.  Arrange a lawyer if 

Explain the role of the nominated person (i.e. to support them and ensure 
they understand their rights) and ask them to choose one. Contact the 
nominated person, explain what is happening and request that they attend 
the interview. 
If the nominated person is inappropriate (according to section 222(2) of the 
Act) ask the suspect to choose another person.   
If the child or young person refuses or fails to nominate a person, ask them to 
nominate someone from the schedule of nominated persons held at the 
station. If they are unable or unwilling to do that, select the person yourself 
from the schedule. 

Contact the suspect’s parent, guardian or other person having care of the 
suspect (unless they have been chosen as the nominated person) and inform 
them the suspect is at the Police station for questioning or arrest. 

While waiting for the nominated person, discuss neutral topics and develop 
rapport.  Record in your notebook what was spoken about.  
Ask about any welfare/medical concerns. 

When the nominated person arrives: 
•  introduce them to the child or young person and explain why you want to 
interview the child or young person 
•  explain (in the child or young person's presence)  that their role is to: 
-  take reasonable steps to ensure the child or young person understands 
their rights  
-  support the child or young person before and during interview or 
questioning (if they agree to answer questions). Make sure they 
understand they cannot answer questions on behalf of the suspect.  
•  give the nominated person a copy of the ‘Guidance for Nominated Persons’ 
POL 388A and go through each point with them 
•  explain the child or young person's rights and ask them to go through 
these with the child or young person to ensure they understand 
•  leave them alone together for a reasonable time to discuss the rights and 
when you return, ask the nominated person to sign a copy of the ‘Guidance 
for Nominated Persons’ leaflet POL 388A to certify that they have explained 
the contents to the suspect. 
suspect elects to speak to a lawyer, you must provide them with the 
appropriate means to do so. Involve a parent or nominated person in any 
decision making about this matter. 
Leave the suspect and, if the lawyer agrees, the nominated person, alone to 
speak to the lawyer in private. 

In the nominated person's presence: 
•  inform the suspect you will interview them by video recording and explain 
what this means   
•  if they refuse to be video recorded, explain the advantages including 
shortened interview length, increased accuracy and fairness 
Only if they still refuse a video recorded interview give them the option of 
audio recording, and then, if they still refuse, provide the option of making a 
written statement. 

Commence the interview
Be aware that any conversations between the youth and their nominated 
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person may be privileged. Stop the video recording if breaks are taken during 
the interview and the nominated person decides to remain in the interview 
room alone with the youth. 
Interview phase 

Interview model 
Generally you should use the conversation management model. 
However, if the suspect is particularly young or immature use 
the free recall model with a challenge phase because it will 
limit any suggestion of oppression or compulsion.   
Always use the conversation management model with 
'streetwise' suspects. 
Identifying and 
•  Keep questions short and simple - the younger the person, 
expanding suspect 
the shorter and more simply phrased the questions must be. 
and investigatively 
•  Open TEDS type questions are the best questions to use.  
important topics 
('Show me...' type questions might be even more 
appropriate for the less mature suspect). 
•  Avoid developmentally inappropriate questions (e.g. young 
people might find questions relating to time, date, height, 
length, weight, age etc. difficult). 
•  Only use leading questions as a last resort. If the suspect 
responds to a leading question with relevant information not 
led by the question, revert to open or specific questions. 
•  Avoid asking closed questions which require a 'Yes'/'No' 
answer as children have a tendency to want to please by 
saying 'Yes'. 
Challenge the child's or young person's evidence in the same 
way as for other suspects.  
However, remember the fairness and reasonableness of the 
challenges will be determined subjectively based on the 
suspect's characteristics. This means a mature or ‘streetwise’ 
offender may be challenged to a greater degree than someone 
who is young and ‘naïve’. 
You have to be very careful in this area that you are not 
oppressive.  Heavy questioning that amounts to cross-
examination will not be acceptable to the Court, particularly if it 
may have impacted on the reliability of the answer given.  This 
is especially so in respect of children or young persons. 
Written statements  
Adopt the usual process when taking a written statement. Include: 
•  youth rights in detail and in the language used 
•  nominated person details  
•  events that occurred prior to the interview's commencement. 
Both the suspect and nominated person should read over the statement and the suspect 
•  make and initial any alterations 
•  endorse that the statement is true and correct and that they have nothing further to 
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If there are any doubts as to the suspect's ability to read, their nominated person should 
read the statement to them and endorse the statement accordingly. The suspect should 
endorse the statement as having been read to them, and that is true and correct. 
Explain to suspect, their parent/guardian and the nominated person what action will now 
be taken and what this process involves. 
Provide the suspect and nominated person with your name and contact telephone 
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The interview record: statements and notes 
As an exception to the hearsay rule, the record of any admissions made by a suspect 
may be admissible as evidence during judicial proceedings.  
Treat all records of suspect interviews as exhibits.  The original copy of the interview 
record must be presented to the court for scrutiny during judicial proceedings.  With a 
written statement, this means that the interviewer will read the statement to the court 
and the judge and/or jury may examine the statement itself.   
When to write a statement 
Video recording the interview is the best method. Only make a written statement when: 
•  it is impractical to video or audio record the interview, or 
•  the suspect refuses to go on video or audio but consents to a written statement.  
Procedure for preparing written statements 
Step Action 

•  Handwrite or type the statement. Only record it in your notebook if these 
methods are impractical.  
•  Use one side of the page only. Leave space at the top of each page for the 
file pin. 

Put the date, time and location at the top of the front page.  
  e.g. '27/02/2020 
Christchurch Police Station
(Statements made by prisoners should not state the place of detention. The 
city, town or area is sufficient). 

At the top of each page: 
•  write the person's name followed by 'states:' (e.g. 'Joe Donald Bloggs 
•  in the top right hand corner, record the page number and total number of 
pages used (add this at the end). For example: 'page 2/6' (page 2 of a 6 
page statement). 

Using the conversation management model record the statement as you go in 
paragraphs as appropriate using 'Q and A' format by writing the question and 
putting it to the suspect and noting the reply. 
e.g. 'Q. What were you wearing yesterday? 
A. I dunno.' 
•  Record every word using the person’s own words, phrases and expressions 
•  Do not include inadmissible matters in the content such as references to: 
-  previous convictions 
-  prison, if the suspect is in custody 
-  matters not relevant to the enquiry (this includes other unrelated 
offences - a separate interview should be conducted for these). 
•  Avoid correcting the person's grammar or vocabulary.  
•  If they use slang or colloquialisms, ask them to clarify the meaning. Write 
their explanation in the statement, so the intended meaning can be clearly 
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State the person’s: 
•  name  
graph  •  age and date of birth 
•  residential address, telephone numbers, email address and social network 
address (e.g. Bebo, Facebook) 
•  occupation and business address, telephone numbers, email address 
•  include domestic circumstances if appropriate 
e.g. My full name is Joe Donald Bloggs.  I am 21 years old and was born on 
30 March 1990.  I live at 3 White Place, Invercargill.  My home phone number 
is 03 123 4567 and mobile number is 021 123 4567.  My email address is 

[email address].  I am not working at the moment.
Include your own name and give the reason for the making of the statement.  
graph  e.g. 'I am making this statement to Constable White about a fight outside the 
hotel in Main Street.
If a suspect has been informed of the caution/rights include exactly what was 
said in the statement. 
e.g. 'I have been told by Constable White that I have the right to remain 
I do not have to make any statement. 

Anything I say will be recorded and may be given in evidence in court. 
I have the right to speak with a lawyer without delay and in private before 

deciding whether to answer any questions. 
Police have a list of lawyers I may speak to for free. 

Q. Do you understand these rights? 
A. Yeah.'
If an admission is made during interview and the suspect has not been given 
their caution/rights: 
•  caution/rights them as appropriate 
•  record this in full in the statement at the corresponding place. 
Endorsing the statement 
Once you have recorded everything take these steps to endorse the statement.  
Step Action 

Ask the suspect to: 
•  read the statement (if this is not possible, follow procedure for suspects not 
able to read) 
•  make and initial any corrections or additions and sign at the end of each 
•  write at the end of the statement: 
-  'I have read this statement.  It is true and correct. I have nothing 
further to add
•  sign the statement with their full signature (if they refuse to sign, note this 
on the statement). 

You endorse the statement by: 
•  signing the bottom of each page and any corrections or additions made 
•  writing at the end of the statement: 
-  'Statement taken and witnessed by:' 
•  adding your full signature, full name, rank, QID and finish time. 
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Suspects not able to read and write  
If you are unsure about a suspect's ability to read and write follow this procedure to 
complete a statement.  
Step Action 

Ask the suspect to read out the first sentence or two to you. If they have 
difficulty, offer to read it to them or get a colleague to read it so there can be 
no allegation of distortion. 

Sit beside the suspect so they can see where you are reading from. 

When they are endorsing the statement, ask them to write "this statement 
has been read to me. It is true and correct". Make a note about their reading 
ability in your notebook so you have a record if you are questioned in court. 

The person reading the statement endorses the statement: 'I have read this 
statement to SUSPECT'S NAME.  I have asked them if they wish to make any 
alterations which I have made and initialled with READER'S NAME.'  The 
reader signs off the statement and writes the time. 
Your notebook is a record of your duties, what you did, who you spoke to, your 
observations, sketch plans or diagrams, initial interview notes and, if absolutely 
necessary, statements from interviewees.  
Notebook statements 
You should only take statements in your notebook in exceptional circumstances.  For 
example, when it is impractical to conduct a formal interview or when the offence is 
minor in nature.   
In these circumstances record the entries as you would a written statement.  There is no 
need to include an opening paragraph that outlines the suspects contact details, rather, 
these should be recorded in full in notebook format before the statement commences. 
Notebook entries about the interview 
You may later be required to satisfy the court of the fairness of the interview.  For this 
reason you should also record the following details in your notebook near the time at 
which you conduct the interview: 
•  time and exact words used when the caution/rights was given 
•  times the: 
-  interview started and finished 
-  refreshments were supplied 
-  interview was suspended with reasons  
-  if applicable, the suspect was arrested 
-  if applicable, the suspect requested a solicitor 
•  people present 
•  details of any conversation prior to and after interview 
•  time and exact words of any admissions made by the suspect prior to and after the 
•  physical description of the suspect 
•  description of the suspect's behaviour. 
Endorsement by the suspect 
To increase the weight attached to the accuracy of your notes, invite the suspect to: 
•  read your notes - if this is not possible, read them to the person 
•  make and initial any corrections or additions 
•  initial each page  
•  write at the end of the notebook: 'I have read these notes.  They are true and 
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•  sign the notes with their full signature. 
If they refuse to read the notes, read them to the person and ask them if they agree 
they are true and correct.  Record this and their response in your notebook. 
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The interview record: Court processes 
•  O/C stations have a responsibility to ensure the general security of the video 
recording equipment. 
•  Working copies are the responsibility of the interviewing officers while in their 
•  Once stored in property and exhibits stores, the interview record will be logged and 
stored in the same way as any other exhibit. 
Video interviews should be disclosed as per any other police document. 
Defence requests for transcripts 
If a transcript has already been prepared for prosecution purposes, it should be disclosed 
after being checked for accuracy.  If a transcript has not been prepared, there is no 
requirement to create one for the purpose of disclosure.   
Where the prosecution does not require a transcript, but defence counsel wishes to have 
one, counsel are free to make their own arrangements for transcription from their copy 
of the interview. 
District Court defended hearings 
Generally a transcript of a video recorded interview should not be made. In the absence 
of a transcript the interviewing officer must prepare an evaluation of the interview. 
District/High Court jury trials 
A transcript will be prepared when there is a definite indication that the case will proceed 
to trial.  This will normally be after the call-over hearing.  Interviews must then be 
submitted promptly for transcribing. 
Authorisation of transcripts 
The O/C case completes Part A of the 'Request for Transcription' form 
and forwards it to a supervisor of or above the position level of Inspector to be 
After the officer authorising the transcription signs Part B of the form, the interview is 
delivered, along with the written authority, to the head typist. 
When the transcript is complete, the typist will complete Part C and forward it to the O/C 
It is the responsibility of the O/C case to ensure the transcription is accurate by checking 
the transcript closely against a copy of the interview. 
Other requests for transcripts 
A request for a transcript will also be considered in the following circumstances: 
•  when the O/C case in a serious crime investigation requires a file to be forwarded out 
of district for enquiries to be made, or 
•  when the Crown Solicitor makes a specific request, or a judge orders one to be made, 
•  when the serious nature of the charge, or the complexity of the matter investigated or 
the length, or particular circumstances indicate a transcript is necessary. 
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Presentation of the video interview in court 
Master copy 
The master copy is produced by the interviewing officer as an exhibit for committal and 
at not guilty hearings. 
Brief of evidence/formal written statement 
The interviewing officer's brief of evidence or formal written statement should include 
the following points: 
•  any relevant conversation not video recorded 
•  at a certain time, date and place, an interview with the suspect was recorded by 
means of two/three simultaneously recorded video dvds/tapes 
•  at the conclusion of the interview, one of the two copies was designated the master 
•  the master copy was labelled, sealed and deposited into a security cabinet inside the 
interview room, in the presence of the suspect. 
The interviewing officer will then identify and produce the master copy as an exhibit. 
There is no requirement for the interviewing officer to give evidence as to any of the 
recorded conversation. 
Availability of working copy 
The O/C case should have the working copy available during court proceedings for 
reference if required. 
Chain of evidence 
Current procedures trace the movement of both the master copy and the working copy.  
It will generally be unnecessary to describe any evidential chain, except where a dispute 
arises as to the integrity of the copy. 
The master copy will always remain in its original state and will be produced unaltered at 
committal and defended hearings. 
Where an application under section 344A of the Crimes Act 1961 results in an order that 
a video interview is edited prior to or during trial, the Police will be guided and directed 
by the Crown Solicitor in charge of the case.  Since the master copy will already be an 
exhibit of the court at this point, any editing will be from the working copy. 
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Legal requirements: frequently asked questions  
When interviewing suspects a number of provisions must be complied with to ensure 
that any information obtained is admissible in subsequent legal proceedings.  It is 
essential that you are familiar with and act within the terms of the: 
•  Chief Justice's Practice Note on Police Questioning ('the Practice Note') 
•  New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 
•  section 316 Crimes Act 1961 
•  Evidence Act 2006.  
What are the Chief Justice's guidelines? 
Pursuant to section 30(6) of the Evidence Act 2006 a judge must consider the Chief 
Justice's Practice Note on Police Questioning ('the Practice Note')
 in determining whether 
a defendant's statement was obtained fairly. The Practice Note provides 5 guidelines on 
matters of fairness for police when dealing with suspects.  While the guidelines in the 
Practice Note are not strict rules of law, they have some force in law and must be 
complied with.  
Who can I question? 
Guideline 1 of the Practice Note states: 
'A member of the police investigating an offence may ask questions of any person from 
whom it is thought useful information may be obtained, whether or not that person is a 
suspect, but must not suggest that it is compulsory for the person questioned to 
•  may ask questions of any person to assist with inquiries 
•  cannot compel a person to answer questions if they refuse or imply that they must 
answer your questions. The principle is absolute even if you are requesting a name 
and address.  The only exception is when statute specifies an authority to do so (e.g. 
name, address and date of birth must be provided under section 113 of the Land 
Transport Act 1998 or a person can be arrested for failing to provide their name and 
address under section 39 Summary Offences Act 1981). 
When do I give the caution/rights? 
Guideline 2 of the Practice Note states: 
'Whenever a member of the police has sufficient evidence to charge a person with an 
offence or whenever a member of the police seeks to question a person in custody, the 
person must be given the caution/rights before being invited to make a statement or 
answer questions.' 
What does sufficient evidence to charge mean? 
There is sufficient evidence to charge a person when Police have "sufficient evidence 
which, objectively considered would support a prima-facie case against the suspect" [R v 
Goodwin (1992) 9 CRNZ1] 
When deciding whether to caution/rights someone, ask yourself: 
•  Do I have enough evidence to support this case? Does the evidence (if accepted) 
justify taking this matter to court?  
•  Would an objective independent member of the public agree?  
When is a person in custody? 
A person is in custody when they have been arrested or detained.  A person is in custody 
whether the arrest or detention is lawful or arbitrary. Arrest means a communication by 
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Police of an intention to apprehend and hold the person in the exercise of authority to do 
so. An arrest will generally involve Police: 
•  advising the person that they are under arrest, making it plain that they have "been 
deprived of the liberty to go where he pleases", and 
•  the words of arrest are accompanied by a physical touching or submission by the 
person being arrested.  
Lawful detention is when the person is detained under an enactment. 
Note: Police have a duty of care for the safety of any person arrested or detained. 
What is arbitrary arrest or detention? 
Section 22 of the Bill of Rights Act 1990 states: 
'Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained.' 
‘Arbitrary’ means not lawful, or without lawful authority, or based on random choice or 
whim. (Unless an arrest or detention is made pursuant to an authority or enactment, it is 
unlawful and ‘arbitrary’). 
Arbitrary detention can occur if the suspect believes on reasonable grounds that they are 
not free to leave based on Police conduct (detention can occur anywhere and is not 
limited to a police station). 
If the person has not been arrested or detained under an enactment they must be 
informed they are free to go.  Any admissions gained while the suspect believes they are 
not free to go are likely to be ruled inadmissible.   
What must I explain to the suspect about the reason for interview? 
During the 'engage and explain' phase of the interview you must fairly inform the 
suspect what they are being interviewed about and the type of charge they may face 
(i.e. the degree of jeopardy they are under). This means you cannot minimise the 
seriousness of the charges they may face. 
What is the caution/rights for adults? 
Advice that should be given to an adult suspect (this originated from Guideline 2 but has 
been amended due to case law): 
•  'I am arresting you for / I am speaking to you about... (give reason) 
•  You have the right to remain silent. 
•  You do not have to make any statement. 
•  Anything you say will be recorded and may be given in evidence in court. 
•  You have the right to speak with a lawyer without delay and in private before deciding 
whether to answer any questions. 
•  Police have a list of lawyers you may speak to for free. 
•  Do you understand these rights?' 
How do I make sure they understand? 
In the interests of fairness ensure the suspect understands their rights by: 
•  using simple language 
•  breaking it down into small parts and checking they understand each part. 
When should I repeat the caution/rights? 
Repeat the caution/rights in these situations: 
•  if the advice was given before the suspect was arrested or detained, it must be 
repeated when the suspect is arrested or detained 
•  after a lengthy break in interview 
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•  when interviewing them about an unrelated offence or the circumstances of the 
offence change.  
Do I need to record everything suspect tells me under caution/rights? 
Guideline 2(c) requires anything said by the suspect or person arrested or detained that 
is relevant to the offence be recorded. If it is not recorded, and Police seek to give 
evidence of what was said, particularly if it is inculpatory, then that evidence may be 
held to be inadmissible or given very little evidential weight.  
Discussing other topics 
Idle chat need not be recorded, but anything relevant to the offence needs to be 
recorded in some way.  
You should record the fact that other topics were discussed with a suspect, and invite the 
suspect to sign a record of that fact (e.g. in your notebook). If the suspect refuses to 
sign that record, you should as soon as possible, briefly record the general topics 
If a video interview is conducted, record the fact that other topics were discussed as part 
of the introduction to that interview, i.e. prior events. 
When do I have to inform someone of their Bill of Rights? 
For practical purposes, given that the advice requirements of the New Zealand Bill of 
Rights Act are brought into the new caution/rights, the advice in Guideline 2 should be 
provided to people who are arrested or detained, or where Police seek to question 
someone where there is sufficient evidence to charge that person with an offence.  
Even where you caution/advise a suspect of their rights prior to arrest or detention, you 
must still repeat the advice upon arrest or detention under section 23 Bill of Rights Act 
Are there restrictions on interviewing someone arrested for an offence? 
Guideline 3 states: 
'Questions of a person in custody or in respect of whom there is sufficient evidence to 
lay a charge must not amount to cross-examination' 
Questioning a suspect is not restricted by arrest. The interview process is the same 
regardless of whether a suspect has been arrested and/or charged. The only difference is 
that once arrested they must be brought before the court as soon as possible (s23 NZ 
Bill of Rights Act 1990). 
Whether or not there is sufficient to charge, questioning should never be overbearing or 
unfair. If it is, the interview may be excluded under section 2829 or 30 Evidence Act 
Excessive or oppressive cross-examination may lead to exclusion of the interview.   
How does persistent questioning differ to cross-examination? 
Persistent questioning aims at establishing further facts from answers already given.  A 
suspect can be challenged if their account is not consistent with facts obtained during 
the course of the enquiry. Persistent questioning, however, must not be oppressive or 
overbearing. It is permissible to refuse to accept a suspect's explanation or denials, 
particularly when they are inconsistent with the evidence.  
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How long can I interview someone for after arrest? 
You can interview someone under arrest at length as long as: 
•  the rights of the suspect are met 
•  the suspect is treated fairly and ethically.  
Be mindful of the requirement to bring them before a court as soon as possible (s23 Bill 
of Rights Act 1990). 
Can I lock a person (who is not arrested or detained) in the interview 

Good practice dictates you should not lock anyone in an interview room. Locking a 
suspect who is not arrested or detained in a room is very likely to render the interview 
inadmissible as the suspect is not free to leave despite the fact that they have not been 
arrested or detained under any enactment. 
If exceptional circumstances exist and for safety reasons you need to lock a person (who 
is not arrested or detained under any enactment) in an interview room, you must: 
•  gain their informed consent (you have explained why you are locking the door, and 
they accept your explanation and understand that they may choose to leave the 
interview at any time) 
•  leave for only a short period of time  
•  provide them with the opportunity to leave, e.g. knock on the door (and respond to a 
knock as quickly as possible) 
•  record in your notebook when you left and returned to the room. 
You must also consider what may occur if the interviewee is left alone in a locked 
interview room as you: 
•  have a duty of care for the interviewee (as with any person under your custodial 
management) and must consider their overall safety 
•  must be aware of their ability to dispose of evidence.  
How do I question the suspect about a statement made by a witness? 
Guideline 4 of the Practice Note states: 
'Whenever a person is questioned about statements made by others or about other 
evidence, the substance of the statements or the nature of the evidence must be fairly 
When a suspect is questioned about statements made by others, explain the substance 
of the evidence obtained from those others to the suspect. It will not be sufficient to 
refer to general evidence (e.g. "You said that you have never been to the Portal petrol 
station. We have witnesses who identify you at the scene. Explain that."). Instead the 
substance of that part of the statement should be put (e.g. "You said that you have 
never been to the Portal petrol station. We have a witness who describes seeing a 
päkehä male with a tattoo on his face wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans at the 
Portal petrol station on the night of the burglary. This matches your description. Explain 
You must not deceive suspects by trickery or by misrepresenting the truth. To avoid 
•  read relevant exerts from the statement to the suspect, or  
•  accurately summarise the statement.  
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How should I record the interview? 
Guideline 5 states: 
'Any statement made by a person in custody or in respect of whom there is sufficient 
evidence to charge should preferably be recorded by video recording unless that is 
impractical or unless the person declines to be recorded by video. Where the statement 
is not recorded by video, it must be recorded permanently on audio tape or in writing. 
The person making the statement must be given an opportunity to review the tape or 
written statement or to have the written statement read over, and must be given an 
opportunity to correct any errors or add anything further. Where the statement is 
recorded in writing, the person must be asked if he or she wishes to confirm the written 
record as correct by signing it.' 
Good practice is to video record all suspect interviews unless: 
•  the suspect does not consent 
•  it is impractical to do so. 
If the suspect does not consent to video, the next best method is to cover the camera of 
the video recording equipment and record the interview on audio only.  
When is a suspect's 'statement'/interview admissible as evidence? 
"Statement" is defined in section 4 Evidence Act 2006 and means: 
(a) a spoken or written assertion by a person of any matter; or  
(b) non-verbal conduct of a person that is intended by that person as an assertion of any 
This definition can include: 
•  direct and deliberate oral or written statements made by the defendant stating they 
committed the crime (or an element of the crime) 
•  lies told by the defendant about relevant matters 
•  the defendant's response to statements made in their presence 
•  private conversations the defendant is involved in that are overheard (e.g. between 
husband and wife, the defendant talking to themselves, or prisoners talking in cells). 
As your interviews are 'statements', you must understand the criteria the court will use 
to determine whether a suspect's 'statement' is admissible.  
A defendant’s statement can be produced by the prosecution as evidence but is only 
admissible against the defendant, not a co-defendant (s27 Evidence Act 2006). 
Grounds a judge must consider when determining the admissibility of a statement are 
outlined in section 28, 29 and 30 Evidence Act. 
When is an interview record excluded because of unreliability or 

Under sections 28 and 29 Evidence Act 2006, a judge must exclude a statement in 
certain circumstances. In determining whether a statement is unreliable or influenced by 
oppression and whether the relevant section requires its exclusion the judge must take 
into account:  
•  any pertinent physical, mental, or psychological condition of the defendant when the 
statement was made (whether apparent or not) 
•  any pertinent characteristics of the defendant including any mental, intellectual, or 
physical disability to which the defendant is subject (whether apparent or not) 
•  the nature of any questions put to the defendant and the manner and circumstances 
in which they were put 
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link to page 4 link to page 4  
•  the nature of any threat, promise, or representation made to the defendant or any 
other person. 
The judge may also take other factors into account. Following the ten principles of 
investigative interviewing and procedures in this guide will increase the likelihood that 
your interview is admissible and limit opportunities for defence counsel to challenge 
Record the circumstances in which any statement is obtained in case they should later 
become an issue in court (with interviews, the most reliable method of recording this 
information is by video recording).  Also record your observations of the defendant (e.g. 
intoxication, mental disability and physical condition). Accurate records will assist you if 
you need to give evidence about the way in which the interview was conducted in the 
event that the admissibility of the statement is challenged. 
A defendant's statement may not be excluded if it is offered only as evidence of the 
defendant’s physical, mental and psychological condition at the time it was made, or of 
the fact the statement was made.  
Don't enter into agreements with defendants 
Do not enter into agreements or ‘deals’ with a defendant or any other person (e.g. a 
spouse) under which they will confess in return for Police not charging a co-defendant or 
any friend, or any other favour.  This is likely to be considered a promise or 
representation and the confession ruled inadmissible in evidence under sections 28, 29 
and 30 because of the way the confession was obtained. 
Examples of possible threats, promises or representations are: 
•  “Tell me where the things are and I will be favourable to you.” 
•  “If you don't tell me, you may get yourself into trouble and it will be worse for you.” 
•  “If you tell me what you did, your girlfriend won't be charged.” 
•  "If you admit to this, I will promise that you will get bail."  
When else may evidence be ruled inadmissible? 
Section 30 applies to evidence and not just to statements and provides a process for 
determining the admissibility of improperly obtained evidence. Evidence is improperly 
obtained when it is obtained unfairly or in consequence of: 
•  a breach of any enactment or rule of law by a person to whom section 3 of the New 
Zealand Bill of Rights Act applies, or 
•  a statement made by a defendant that is or would be inadmissible if it were offered in 
evidence by the prosecution 
If a judge finds that evidence has been improperly obtained and its exclusion is 
proportionate to the impropriety, then the judge must exclude the evidence.   
Are 'off the record conversations' with suspects admissible? 
A statement made by a suspect under the premise that what they say will not be used as 
evidence is likely to be ruled inadmissible. 
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Children and young persons: frequently asked questions 
When do I have to caution/rights a CYP? 
When interviewing a child or young person you must inform them of their rights as 
specified by section 215 of the Act: 
•  if there are reasonable grounds to suspect they have committed an offence, or 
•  before asking questions intended to obtain an admissions, or 
•  before continuing questioning if at anytime during the interview you form the view 
that there are reasonable grounds to suspect they have committed an offence. 
Rights under s215(1)(c)-(f) must also be explained to a youth on arrest (refer to section 
217).  The introduction of the Chief Justice Practice Note on Police Questioning changes 
the wording and content around what needs to be explained. 
What is the caution/rights for a CYP? 
Give these rights under section 215 as amended by the Chief Justice's Practice Note on 
Police Questioning: 
•  'I want to talk to you about... 
•  You are not obliged to accompany me and if you decide to accompany me you can 
withdraw your consent at any time. 
•  You have the right to remain silent. 
•  You do not have to make any statement or answer any questions. 
•  If you agree to make a statement and/or answer any questions you can change your 
mind and stop at any time. 
•  Anything you say will be recorded and may be given in evidence in court– this means 
if you are taken to court for [offence] what you say to me may be retold to the judge 
or jury. 
•  You have the right to speak with a lawyer and/or any person nominated by you 
without delay and in private before deciding whether to make any statement or 
answer any questions. 
•  You have the right to have your lawyer and/or nominated person with you while you 
make any statement or answer any questions. 
•  Police have a list of lawyers you may speak to for free.' 
How do I ensure they understand the caution/rights? 
You must inform children and young people of their rights in a manner and language 
appropriate for their age and level of understanding (s218).  Make sure they understand 
their rights by: 
•  using simple language 
•  breaking it down into small parts and checking they understand each part by asking 
them to explain back to you what it means. 
Note: Be aware that children and young persons have a tendency to answer 'yes' when 
asked closed questions.  It is your responsibility to ensure they understand their rights. 
If you are in any doubt try again until you are certain they understand. 
What if they refuse to give their name and address?  
Subject to section 215 of the Act, if the circumstances are such that you have power to 
arrest the child or young person without warrant, you may do so if, by refusing to give 
their name and address to you, the child or young person cannot be served with a 
This provision only applies to a child or youth refusing to provide their name and address 
when you have sufficient to charge them.  It simply allows the child or young person to 
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be fairly informed that if they do not provide their name and address, you cannot 
summons them, and therefore they may be arrested.  For example: 
'You can be arrested if you do not give me your name and address.  Do you understand 
what that means?' 
Warn them that they will be arrested, if you have reasonable grounds to believe the 
name and/or address given is false. 
As specified by section 215(2) of the Act, this subsection does not apply if the youth is 
already under arrest. 
Who should be used as a nominated person? 
A child or young person can consult with before interview, and have present during 
interview, a lawyer and nominated person (section 221(2)(b)). They have the right to 
select and be supported by a nominated person of their choice provided they are: 
•  the parent or guardian of the child or young person, or 
•  adult member of the family or whanau or family group, or 
•  any other adult (of or over 20 years). 
It is only when they refuse or fail to nominate a person that you may nominate someone 
from the schedule of nominated persons located in most police stations (refer to section 
222(1)(d)).  You should ask the child or young person to choose someone from the list. 
If they are unable or unwilling to do so then you should pick the person.   
When can I refuse to use the person nominated? 
Under section 222 of the Act you may only refuse to use the nominated person if you 
believe on reasonable grounds that: 
•  if they are permitted to consult with the child or young person they would attempt, or 
be likely to attempt, to pervert the course of justice, or 
•  they cannot with reasonable diligence be located, or will not be available within a 
period of time that is reasonable in the circumstances. 
If either of these grounds exist, ask the child or young person to nominate another 
Reasonable diligence? 
Courts have held that a wait in excess of an hour is not unreasonable. You have to show 
the court that reasonable and diligent enquiries were made. (The effort to locate the 
nominated person can be time consuming but the efforts can be well rewarded by a 
person the child or young person is comfortable with).  
What if the nominated person is a witness? 
If the child or young person's parent/s or other nominated person is also a potential 
witness you should: 
•  interview the potential nominated person/s before interviewing the child or young 
•  assess their response to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe 
that they would or are likely to attempt to pervert the course of justice.  For example, 
if they state their son/daughter was at home and you have contrary evidence, 
determine whether this is a genuine belief or whether they are deliberately misleading 
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What do I have to tell the CYP's parents? 
If a child or young person is at a police station for questioning you must (unless 
impracticable to do so) inform the parents, guardians or other persons caring for the 
child or young person that they are at the police station for questioning or arrest. 
If the child or young person has chosen their parent or guardian as their nominated 
person, there is no need to contact anyone else. 
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