Macphearson cook sentamu and stone 1999 para 1314

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(Macphearson, Cook, Sentamu, and Stone, 1999: para 13.14). Critics of the current paper-and-pen system, in which interviewers usually scribe for interviewees, have called for universal audio-recording of witness interviews. This interest in, and attention to, the recording of statement-taking sessions is, slowly, shifting investigative focus away from the statement as an authoritative text and onto the interview as an interaction which may include details, and details about details, omitted from the statement itself. Indeed, police forces have become so concerned that statements are not taken in sufficient detail, that some forces now encourage the audio- recording of all statements (National Crime Faculty, 1998:160), especially in more serious cases. This has prompted the development of a special class of witness, the significant witness who is always to be recorded and interviewed by a trained officer. 3 Data overview The texts used here were collected from an English police force, in 2000. We will look at one case study using data from two texts:
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1 an audio-recording of a single statement-taking session in which a witness describes his understanding of events surrounding a suspicious death; 2 a hand-written statement, composed during the statement-taking session. The investigation of this death had treated it as a possible murder, so, each witness to this crime was interviewed as a significant witness . The analysis sets show what would have been lost without audio-recording. I myself did not make the audio-recording of this statement as I did not attend this interview due to confidentiality. The audio-recording I have analysed is a copy of the police recording, the official record, with personal details removed. The police recordings are otherwise un-broken, made on previously sealed tapes which include a constant audible counter to demonstrate that they are complete and uninterrupted. The events described in the session and in the resulting statement took place over two days during which the witness, victim and friends met at various locations, walking from place to place. Key participants are described in figure 1 in order to orient the reader to the characters who will be mentioned subsequently. All names, locations and dates have been anonymised throughout. Figure 2 also provides orientation, by labelling two meetings described by the witness, and by summarising the location of each, the participants involved and the events which took place at them. I have used “meeting” to conveniently and consistently label the events (it is not a word used by the interviewee or interviewer), however the gatherings were informal and certainly not business meetings, their content and timing were not, apparently, planned. Also, the participants did not meet at them, mostly they arrived at and departed from the meetings collectively or at least with one or two other participants.
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