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Interviewing

WZ Tip of the Month - Written Statements

At the conclusion of any investigative interview it is always recommended to get your subject to provide a recap of the conversation; a written statement.  One of the most common forms of written statement is the narrative-style statement.  The narrative statement is a handwritten account of the conversation provided by the subject.  

Your subject writes the narrative in first person account to describe their involvement in the incident under investigation.  The statement is usually a series of paragraphs written on plain paper or on a company document where the opening and closing are preprinted.  

The subject’s narrative describes the incident and substantiates their involvement with details.  The statement contains elements of the crime or policy violation and in certain cases the subject’s feelings about the incident.

Obtaining the narrative in chronological order, with as much detail as possible will help you in the disciplinary track. The narrative statement can also incorporate information relating to the subject’s state of mind at the time the incident occurred…knew it was wrong, did it anyway.  

A handwritten narrative statement will help prove the believability of the subject’s verbal confession.

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