Alan Muir raises an eyebrow at possible police interviewing of the future-Orwellian (and then some!)

Just relax, watch the slowly spinning tape reels and we’ll begin…

I read it, then I re-read it. Then I checked that there was indeed snow on the ground, some Christmas cards in the post and screamed a silent scream. It was not, as I had been hoping, April 1st.

Chester University is to host a “taster” next June, so far so good. Here’s the catch. It is to be held for police officers and conducted by “hypnosis specialist” Tom Silver. I know, I know but it gets worse. It is to teach serving, hitherto sane, officers the new art of interviewing or, as it is hyped to produce “the deepest and most receptive states of hypnosis.”

This departure from the real word is championed by PC Mark Hughes, an “investigative skills trainer” (yip!) with the Cheshire Polis’. No you’re right, if he’s that good, I don’t know why he is still a P.C. either! I can just about hear an inspector somewhere saying, “So he’s definitely somewhere he can do no harm?”

To quote the hapless plod, “Putting people in a receptive brainwave state makes it likelier that “the truth will come out”. He describes this as “another tool in the armoury”. By now the word “tool” had come to mind but not linked to armoury.

The sales pitch? “Putting people in a receptive brainwave state makes it likelier that the truth will come out” Sweet Jesus! Feeding them 4 cans of Caly Special Brew might do that!! It would also be a damn sight cheaper as the “course” for the polis’ costs £1,370 for 6 days. Can you imagine the pish up two polis’ and an accused could have on that?? In Scotland the 6 hour detention limit would have to be forgotten of course, but…think of the cost savings!

Can’t get worse? Wrong! “Forensic hypnosis is a scientific approach , (wait for it!), and special helmets monitor brain activity and those who lie have wide awake brain patterns”. Could just be me, but, so do folk who are …well, wide awake. Being dragged into a police interview room does tend to spark you into consciousness! So much for the “Right to Silence”.

Needless to say, the eejit who is hawking this, along with matching tie and socks sets no doubt, is a “celebrity” hypnotherapist. Mr. Silver, it boasts, has “appearances on…Montel Williams and Ricki Lake chat shows”. Well Tom, so do folk who marry their household pets in a “mutually satisfying(!), loving union”. I wouldn’t tell you the time using my watch let alone risk your interpretation of my thoughts getting anywhere near a Fiscal’s desk!

The final “sell” I leave to P.C. Deadhead, “Forensic hypnosis does not prove guilt but it can give new lines of inquiry when traditional methods have failed.” I think that he might find dropping an LSD tab’ will do just the same!

Evening all!

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