Good Cop Bad Cop Interrogation Method


There are many techniques that may be applied by the law enforcement agencies during the interrogation of a suspect. One of the most popular interrogation techniques is known as the "Good cop, Bad cop" questioning method. This technique is known to be effective because it manipulates the suspect's perception of the interrogators. In such a scenario, one of the detectives is presented as angry, extremely hostile and aggressive. While the other is contrastingly calm, empathetic and presents himself as understanding towards the suspect.

It is the "bad cop" that begins the interrogation. He comes off as very unpleasant and even threatening. The role of the "bad cop" is to accuse the suspect without leaving any chance to the person to offer explanation or alibi. In addition the detective playing such a role may be borderline verbally abusive and uncontrolled. In certain countries, a "bad cop" will even use extreme interrogation methods, such as torture.

Pushing the suspect to the state of despair, the "bad cop" will then be tamed by the "good cop". They might even argue in front of the suspect, to show how differently they feel about the suspect`s involvement in a given crime. Of course this is all part of the drill, that is meant to show the suspect that one of the detectives can be trusted. The "bad cop" will then be asked to leave the interrogation room.

After the "bad cop" leaves the room, the most crucial part of the interrogation begins. In fact there are two possible tactics a "good cop" can use. The first, involves being extremely apologetic to the behavior of the other "bad cop". The "good cop" will show sympathy towards the suspect and psychologically present himself as the suspect`s friend, rather than an investigator.

At that point he may offer the suspect something to drink or a cigarette, to show further kindness. Such an attitude will put the suspect at ease, where he/she will feel like they owe it to the "good cop" to confess about the crimes or offer any information previously withheld.

If this method fails, the "good cop" will then explain to the suspect that he might not be able to tame his partner once he comes back to the room, and will be unable to keep the suspect out of harm`s way. The only bargain for the suspect`s safety becomes any information that the suspect may provide to help advance the investigation.

This method is known as the hurt and rescue principle. This principle is illustrated by the "bad cop" psychologically hurting the suspect, while the "good cop" comes to his rescue.