Care goes on
BBC did not tell us
the police trawl the innocent
goes on trial
Confessions of a
Bob Woffinden interviews forensic psychologist Gisli Gudjonsson, the
man who helped to put a stop to the practice of extracting false
confessions during police interviews.
"I believe false confessions
today are less of a problem than false allegations," says Gudjonsson.
"There is accumulating research evidence that it is much easier for people
to make up false allegations, even serious allegations, than the courts
realise. "People are often too eager to help the police. They may have an
over-extended imagination. If the police ask all the people from a certain
care home, 'Were you abused?' Even that may be sufficient for people to
think, 'Maybe it happened to me then, even though I don't remember it. I
think I was abused. Yes, I must have been abused.' "It's important that
people who make allegations are very carefully interviewed, because their
evidence can easily result in a miscarriage of justice. All interviews in
serious cases should be tape-recorded."
© Richard Webster, 2002