Keeping our wits about us: introducing a bespoke informant interview model for covert human intelligence source (CHIS) interactions

Moffett, Lee, Oxburgh, Gavin, Dresser, Paul, Gabbert, Fiona and Watson, Steven J. (2022) Keeping our wits about us: introducing a bespoke informant interview model for covert human intelligence source (CHIS) interactions. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1833-5330 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/18335330.2022.2153614

Abstract

The covert use of civilian informants leaves law enforcement agencies open to accusations of unethical conduct. The use of a structured interview protocol is a recognised method of promoting ethical interactions between police and public citizens, however, there is no known interview model specifically designed to meet informant handler objectives. The current study adopts a holistic view of the interaction between ‘informant’ and ‘handler’ to develop a bespoke informant interview model (RWITS-US: Review and Research, Welfare, Information, Tasking, Security, Understanding Context, Sharing). This model is compared to the PEACE model of interviewing as part of a novel experimental paradigm using mock-informants (N = 19), measuring levels of motivation, rapport, cooperation and intelligence gain. Results indicate that the RWITS-US model generated significantly greater levels of self-reported rapport without having any detrimental effect on the other measured variables. Whilst the results are encouraging, we suggest that the RWITS-US model should be tested in handler training environments before being recommended for widespread use in the field.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: CHIS, HUMINT, informant, intelligence interview, RWITS-US
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 09:56
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 14:15
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50972

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