Page 1: Participant Information

PARTICIPANT INFORMATION 

Remote interviewing: The impact on victims and witnesses of crime

You are being invited to take part in this research study, however, before you decide, it is important for you to read this information sheet so you understand why the study is being carried out and what it will involve. Reading this information, discussing it with others or asking any questions you might have will help you decide whether or not you would like to take part. 

What is the purpose of the research?

This survey is a part of a UK-wide 18-month research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in response to the UKRI Rapid Response call to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study (which forms part of the wider aims) is to understand how victims’ and witnesses’ experiences of participating in police interviews have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly any possible benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of using remote technology in this setting. The survey is specifically for people who have taken part in a police interview as either a victim or a witness in England or Wales since March 2020 - your responses will provide a unique insight into police interviews from the perspective of the interviewee. 

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited because you have participated in a police interview as a victim or witness in England or Wales since March 2020, and that case is now closed. 

Do I have to take part?

No, it is entirely up to you whether you would like to take part in this study. If you do decide to take part, you can withdraw at any time without providing a reason by exiting the survey. 

What will happen if I take part?

You will be asked to answer some questions as part of a short online survey to establish how the process of interviewing victims and witnesses by the police has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding the possible use of remote technology. The survey will take around 20 minutes to complete. All answers given should be on the basis of your experience. Participation is fully anonymous - you will not be asked for any information regarding the case that you have been involved in or any other personally identifying information, this survey is purely about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the process of being interviewed in terms of aspects such as the use of remote technology, delays, your opinions on the future directions in this setting, and others.

How will my data be stored?

All electronic data will be stored on Northumbria University’s drives, which are password protected.  All data will be stored in accordance with University guidelines and the Data Protection Act (2018).  

What information will be collected and who will have access to the information collected?

Information on your experiences of being interviewed by the police as a victim or witness since March 2020 in England or Wales will be collected as part of the online survey. You will not be asked for any personal or identifying information.  Importantly, you will not be asked for any information regarding the case that you have been involved in (and we kindly ask that you do not provide us any information), this survey is purely about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the process of being interviewed. If you agree to take part in the research study, your anonymous data will become part of a dataset which can be accessed by researchers and other individuals working on this project.  

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The data gained and the analysis of that data will help us to understand the experiences, benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of various aspects of police interviews and the use of remote technology in England and Wales. The overall project aims to produce timely and much-needed evidence-based reports and resources to enable immediate and direct impact for all partners and stakeholders. Your responses will provide a unique insight from the interviewee perspective. 

What will happen to the results of the study?

The general findings will likely be reported in scientific journals, research headline reports, policy briefings (and other technical reports accessible by governmental and police agencies), future research and training, and presented at one or more research conferences. However, the data will be anonymised and you or the data you have provided will not be personally identifiable. The findings may also be shared with other organisations/institutions that have been involved with the study. We can provide you with a summary of the findings from the study, if you email the researcher at the address listed below.

Who is funding this research?

This research project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in response to the UKRI Rapid Response call to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who has reviewed this study?

The research project has been approved by Northumbria University’s Ethics Online system. It has been reviewed in order to safeguard your interests, and has been granted approval to conduct the study.

Contact for further information:

Dr. Alena Nash (Research Fellow) – alena.nash@northumbria.ac.uk

Professor Gavin Oxburgh (Principal investigator) – gavin.oxburgh@northumbria.ac.uk

Duncan James (Records and Information Officer at Northumbria University) – dp.officer@northumbria.ac.uk