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Critical evaluation of the impact of low technology communication aids on the quality of evidence elicited from witnesses with a Learning Disability in Registered Intermediary-mediated Achieving Best Evidence police investigative interviews

Pereira, Tina Maria 2021. Critical evaluation of the impact of low technology communication aids on the quality of evidence elicited from witnesses with a Learning Disability in Registered Intermediary-mediated Achieving Best Evidence police investigative interviews. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis critically evaluates the manner in which low technology communication aids interactionally impact the quality of evidence elicited from witnesses with a Learning Disability (WLD) in real Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) police investigative interviews, when communication between interviewing officers (IO) and WLDs is facilitated by a Registered Intermediary (RI)1. Quality in this context is used in relation to the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (1999), which describes quality in terms of completeness, coherence and accuracy. Conversation Analysis (CA) (Mondada 2013; Sacks et al 1974) was used to analyse multimodality interactions in video recordings of seven real ABE police interviews, the institutional goal of which was to elicit investigation relevant information. The thesis identifies participants’ orientations to aids as tools to augment or replace talk to enable WLDs to communicate their evidence using the visuospatial modality. It examines the sequential phases during which aids are recruited during multimodality interaction: retrospectively, in episodes of aided repair, but more efficiently, they are recruited prospectively in Planned Intervention by circumventing a conversation breakdown. Aids are recruited by the participants for different interactional purposes, enabling WLDs to communicate complex evidentially relevant information that they would typically find challenging. The manner in which RIs and IOs construct aided requests for information and their unconventional modified discursive practices are analysed. An RI’s position as a language broker during these atypical interactions demonstrates the emergence of a previously undescribed production role. Finally, results from a survey of 21 RIs and 21 IOs is presented, which corroborate the findings of the analysis. This study extends the body of research on multiparty multimodality embodied interactions. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, it is the first known interactional analysis of low technology aid recruitment in a legal context in atypical interactions. It presents several theoretical and workplace implications, demonstrates how such aids enable WLDs to be given a ‘voice’, improves the quality of their evidence and makes innovative recommendations for further research. 1 An intermediary in the Criminal Justice System is a communication specialist trained to work in legal contexts and relates to Section 29 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (UK Parliament 1999).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 June 2021
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2021 15:11
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142156

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