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Evaluations of PEACE

Continuing the critical look at the science of training in investigative interviewing.

This article continues the critical analysis of police training in investigative interviewing. The focus here is on identifying evaluations of PEACE

Evaluations of PEACE

The following studies have directly compared the performance of untrained and PEACE-trained police officers. Unpublished studies evaluating PEACE (e.g., those conducted as part of student dissertations) have been excluded as these findings are not publicly available (see Note below).

  • McGurk et al. (1993)

  • Clarke and Milne (2001) and Clarke et al. (2011) – these two papers refer to the same core dataset.

The following study compared the performance of trained police officers relative to set standards.

  • Scott et al. (2015)

The following studies have directly compared the performance of untrained and PEACE-trained non-police investigators (e.g., benefit fraud investigators).

  • Walsh and Milne (2008)

  • Walsh and Bull (2010a) and Walsh and Bull (2010b) – these two papers refer to the same core dataset.

  • Walsh and Bull (2012)

The following study compared the performance of trained non-police investigators (in South Korea) relative to set standards.

  • Kim et al. (2017)

Before we move on to the findings of these studies (another Blog post), it is important to reflect on these studies. Things to note include:

  1. There have only been a handful of studies evaluating the efficacy of PEACE training in the interviewing of suspects. There are several other published papers that discuss the PEACE model, but they lack primary data or are based on self-report descriptions of practice (e.g., Cunningham, 2010). By way of comparison, there have been several hundred studies evaluating the Cognitive Interview.

  2. All six of the evaluations involving untrained vs PEACE-trained police officers (n=3) and non-officers (n=3) were conducted in the UK.

  3. The last published evaluation involving untrained vs PEACE-trained police officers was published in 2011. However, it should be pointed out that this paper featured data collected as part of the Clarke and Milne (2001) evaluation which was released ten years earlier (a very careful reading of the 2011 paper is required here!). This means that the most recent evaluation of training of police officers in PEACE was conducted almost 20 years ago.

  4. The Scott et al. (2015) study featured inexperienced Australian police recruits; the Kim et al. (2017) study featured South Korean investigators.

In the next Blog post we will examine the findings of these evaluations.

Note: The New Zealand police officer who wrote a literature review of investigative interviewing (Schollum, 2005) also conducted an in-house evaluation of PEACE training. That evaluation is not publicly available and as such has not been considered here. Secondary citations, by authors who have seen the report, strongly suggest the conclusions of that NZ study do not differ from those reported in the published literature.

Dr Stephen Moston


Clarke, C., & Milne, R. (2001). National evaluation of the PEACE Investigative interviewing course. Home Office.

Clarke, C., Milne, R., & Bull, R. (2011). Interviewing suspects of crime: The impact of peace training, supervision and the presence of a legal advisor. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 8(2), 149-162.

Kim, J., Walsh, D., Bull, R., & Bergstrøm, H. (2017). Planning ahead? An exploratory study of South Korean investigators’ beliefs about their planning for investigative interviews of suspects. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

McGurk, B. J., Carr, M. J., & McGurk, D. (1993). Investigative interviewing courses for police officers: An evaluation. Police Research Group, The Home Office.

Schollum, M. (2005). Investigative interviewing: The literature.

Scott, A. J., Tudor-Owen, J., Pedretti, P., & Bull, R. (2015). How intuitive is PEACE? Newly recruited police officers' plans, interviews and self-evaluations. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(3), 355-367.

Walsh, D., & Bull, R. (2010a). Interviewing suspects of fraud: An in-depth analysis of interviewing skills. Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 38(1-2), 99-135.

Walsh, D., & Bull, R. (2010b). What really is effective in interviews with suspects? A study comparing interviewing skills against interviewing outcomes. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 15(2), 305-321.

Walsh, D., & Bull, R. (2012). Examining rapport in investigative interviews with suspects: Does its building and maintenance work? Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 27(1), 73-84.

Walsh, D. W., & Milne, R. (2008). Keeping the PEACE? A study of investigative interviewing practices in the public sector. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 13(1), 39-57.

Suggested citation (APA 7)

Moston, S. (2021, January 26). Evaluations of PEACE. Forensii.

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Blog 06 Evaluations of PEACE (January 26
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