Professor Eric Shepherd

Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, AFBPsS, FCMI, FCIPD Eric Shepherd

Biographical summary:

Formally Professor of Investigative, Security and Police Sciences at the City University, London, Eric now works full-time under the aegis of Forensic Solutions – a sole practitioner consultancy. He specialises in developing case management and risk management performance of organisations, working groups and individual practitioners – with particular reference to:

  • the core forensic skills of conversation and relationship management, investigation, investigative interviewing, information processing (capture, analysis and representation), problem-solving and decision-making
  • the creation - and continuing development - of practitioner knowledge, understanding, skills and expertise.

A former Royal Marine and Intelligence Corps officer (specialising in interviewing, applied language work, and information analysis) Eric qualified as a forensic psychologist, a counselling psychologist, and as a psychotherapist. Over a period of thirty five years he has held a wide range of academic, clinical, institutional, business, advisory, consultancy, operational, developmental, and training appointments.

Throughout this time he has worked extensively with the police service and policing bodies in UK and across the world, the legal profession (acting as an expert witness for the Crown Prosecution Service and for the defence – in cases before first instance courts and the Court of Appeal both in UK and in Ireland).

After working initially with the Metropolitan Police on the development and implementation of Human Awareness training, he became Consultant Psychologist to the City of London Police in 1983. Here he devised Conversation Management (CM) an ethical, reflective, open-minded approach to investigative interviewing. The purpose of CM is simple: to facilitate maximum disclosure of information through mindful, managed conversation. CM is the complete opposite of confession-focussed interrogation: burdensome questioning founded upon a presumption of guilt aimed at inducing the individual to say things that he or would not otherwise say, or not to say things that he or she otherwise would. Merseyside Police - the first force in UK to have electronic recording in all police stations - adopted CM and in 1985 established its Interview Development Unit co-directed by Eric - as a centre for training practitioners and trainers from UK and across the world.

In 1990 Eric was an early member of a Home Office working group laying down the foundations for PEACE: the national model for investigative interviewing, introduced in 1993 and based on CM. He worked with Kent Police on the design and delivery of Advanced Investigative Interviewing courses from 1993 until 2010. He contributed to early developments in the application of interactive video in the delivery of investigative interviewing training.

Across the past thirty-five years Eric has contributed to police practitioner and trainer courses throughout UK including the National Crime Faculty, Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, Avon and Somerset, Bedfordshire, British Transport Police, Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester Police, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Royal Air Force Police, Royal Military Police, South Wales Police, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley, Warwickshire, West Mercia, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and Wiltshire.

Eric worked with the defence in a landmark Court of Appeal case (R v. Miller, Paris and Abdullahi, 1992) against the murder conviction of an intellectually disadvantaged man interrogated repeatedly over a period of five days, and subjected to thirteen different coercive techniques. The Royal Commission on Criminal Justice subsequently invited to Eric to give evidence on police questioning methods. He joined the Law Society’s Working Party on Police Station Practice and subsequently authored Police Station Skills for Legal Advisers and co-authored Active Defence (with Roger Ede). He advised on how to question children in court for the NSPCC training video A Case for Balance: demonstrating good practice when children are witnesses (1997).

A range of government departments (including the UK Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, the Serious Fraud Office, and HM Revenue and Customs, and in the Irish Republic An Garda Siochana, Enterprise Ireland and the National Standards Ireland) have also used his services.

Since 1997 up to the present he has worked extensively in the development of managers and practitioners in the investigation of fraud and corruption in financial services sector (insurance and banking), telecommunications (mobile phone providers), and the petrochemical sector (oil and gas industries). As Professor of Investigative, Security and Police Sciences at the City University, London Eric was involved in collaborative developments within the field of investigative interviewing in UK (with particular reference to special circumstance interviewing, e.g. counter-terrorism), Norway, and the European Union (with particular reference to the implementation of ethical interviewing, e.g. in the Baltic states and Bulgaria, and economic crime, e.g. training members of the European Anti-fraud Office (Office européen de lutte antifraude). He was involved in the development and creation of “blended learning” approaches to developing investigative interviewing knowledge and skills – combining the use of VLE (initially Blackboard and then Moodle) with “face-to-face” training. He was invited by the Judicial Studies Board to deliver training on credibility assessment.

Eric parallels his development work with operational practice fulfilling investigation manager, investigator, and investigative interviewer roles particularly in fraud, corruption and regulatory contravention cases. Eric continues to train police officers on advanced suspect investigative interviewing courses and in the field of economic crime. He contributes to courses at the City of London Economic Crime Academy and to Fraud Advisory Panel seminars.

He continues to fulfil case work commissions within the judicial context. He is on the International Criminal Court roll of expert witnesses, being most recently involved in analysing the conduct, management and outcome of investigative interviews in respect to alleged genocide. He also designs and delivers continuing professional development events and materials for lawyers.

Institutions throughout UK and worldwide, in both public and private sectors, have increasingly adopted Conversation Management and associated psychology-based tools developed by Eric.

  • SE3R - a method for the rapid capture, comprehensive representation, and analysis of fine-grain detail in verbal communication or any form of document, enabling identification and timely response to anomalies and areas requiring either further investigation or probing.
  • BASELINES a tool for monitoring and identification of transient changes in interviewee behaviour.
  • ASSESS+ a tool enabling collation and assessment of anomalies in disclosures and interviewee behaviour.
  • DEAL – a method for controlling inappropriate behaviour in any verbal exchange.

He is author of Investigative Interviewing: the Conversation Management Approach (Oxford University Press) - now in its second edition co-authored with Dr Andy Griffiths (formerly Detective Superintendent in Sussex Police). He co-authored Analysing Witness Testimony (OUP) and Witness Testimony (OUP). SE3R: a resource book is in its fourth edition. He authored Police Stations Skills for Legal Advisers, and co-authored with Roger Ede Active Defence – both published by the Law Society. He is currently authoring a text on investigative interviewing for lawyers and co-authoring a text on fraud investigative interviewing.

He has language capability in German, Russian, Italian, and Arabic.

  

 

 
 
 
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