Ray Bull

Ray Bull

University of Derby, UK

Title: Revealing forensic evidence to suspects: Strength and training


Ray Bull is Professor of Criminal Investigation at the University of Derby, Emeritus Professor of Forensic Psychology at the University of Leicester, and Visiting Professor at the University of Portsmouth and at London South Bank University. He is President-Elect of the European Association of Psychology and Law. He has authored/co-authored over 200 peer reviewed research-based publications, provided Expert reports/testified in dozens of trials/cases, and been involved in the training of investigators in over 20 countries.


Challenging the account that a suspect provides with forensic evidence known to the investigator is now the topic of a growing body of research. These presentations will firstly overview the previous literature on how this has been undertaken in a number of countries, ranging from a coercive/oppressive approach to a more subtle interviewing procedure. Research in those few countries that have routinely tape-recorded interviews with suspects for decades initially demonstrated that investigators/ interviewers were not skilled at this, especially with regard to challenging what suspects said (e.g. with forensic evidence). Subsequent research then showed that improvements in training did result in more skilled disclosure of information by interviewers and that this seemed to be associated with some suspects shifting from denying to admitting/confessing. This presentation will then describe some aspects of our recent research that has focused on interviewers beliefs about the relative strengths of different types of forensic evidence and the training they may/may not have received on this important topic.