Denying or confessing suspects

Denying or confessing suspects

How many suspects tend to co-operate with police investigations?


The discussion of special police interview methods (such as the Zaanland interrogation method) involves suspects who fail to cooperate in an investigation. While it is not quite clear how large or small this group actually is, the WODC recently obtained data from which the percentage of non-confessing suspects can be derived. These data are taken from the Criminal Justice Monitor, an ongoing research project in the field of criminal law. The analyses of this study were based on a sample group comprising 704 criminal cases all settled in 1993 by the Public Prosecution Service or the (police) court. The outcome of this study suggests that any need for special interrogation methods for dealing with 'difficult' suspects is very limited indeed. The large majority of suspects in criminal cases cooperates with police investigations and admits to the offence they have committed. With regard to the group of suspects who deny their guilt, just under half is sentenced. The other half is not prosecuted or is later released. This last group may comprise suspects for whom a new, more targeted interview method would be more appropriate. Examples include sex offenders and suspects involved in organised crime.

Publication data

Wartna, B.S.J., Beijers, W.M.E.H., Essers, A.A.M.
Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Onderzoeksnotities 1999/05
Ra 12.125