European Journal of Policing Studies


The Qualitative Analysis of the Perceived Abilities, Skills and Characteristics of Turkish Crime Investigators

Keywords police, criminal investigation, investigator, professionalism, strategic management
Authors Burak M. Gönültaş, Ivar Fahsing, Emek Yuce Zeyrek Rios en Esra Çetinöz
Author's information

Burak M. Gönültaş
Burak M. Gönültaş is Professor at the department of Social Work, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey.

Ivar Fahsing
Ivar A. Fahsing is Professor at the department of Criminal Investigation, Norwegian Police College University, Oslo, Norway.

Emek Yuce Zeyrek Rios
Emek Yüce Zeyrek-Rios is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Letters, Psychology Department, Mardin Artuklu University, Middle East Techical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Esra Çetinöz
Esra Çetinöz is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security Sciences, Department of Crime Studies of the Turkish National Police Academy, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Abstract

      A study combining interviews and the repertory grid analyses explored Turkish investigators’ views on what it takes to be an effective investigator. Experienced Turkish police officers (n = 286) from seven different cities dealing with high-harm, low-volume crime investigations were asked to describe what differentiates the effective investigator from the less effective one. A total of 1,819 skills, abilities and personal characteristics (SACs) described could be clustered under three main categories, namely “personality and general knowledge”, “investigative and analytical abilities” and “management and cooperation skills”. A vast majority of SACs identified were quite unspecific and provided only a general indication of a relatively low ability to describe the deeper and underlying functions involved in the job. They view their job mostly as a form of art which can only be mastered through mentorship and job experience. In this study, the variety and vastness of skills, abilities and characteristic in the data indicate that the investigators seem to acknowledge the complexity and the difficulty of modern-day criminal investigations. Thus, we reached inferences from the findings, and they are discussed in relation to levels of professionalism, strategic staff management and previous research from other cultures and jurisdictions. The findings of this research can assist with the development of a cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional and evidence-based policy for the selection and development of investigators.

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