Interrogations conducted by the police to gather information through direct questioning is one of the most important tools of criminal investigation. The transcripts of audio/video recordings of police interrogations help investigators and prosecutors make informed decisions regarding what was said during the interview. Police interrogations transcription should be done properly the first time itself so that only minimal or no changes need to be made to the transcripts. Following are some important considerations with regard to a police interrogation transcript.
The transcript of a police interview should be in verbatim which means that you must transcribe everything that is said during the interview. You should consider the following for effective verbatim transcription.
- In most cases, the investigators ask questions after making an allegation. You should keep these two things separate in the transcript.
- While leading a natural conversation, the speakers may not wait for each other to finish. This should not affect the transcript.
- The non-verbal sounds used as a means of communication between the speakers should be transcribed to specify the attitude of the interviewee.
- If you heard something and are not sure about that 100%, then it is better to mark it with a tag. Use timestamps while tagging these.
- Transcribe the filler words (for example, okay, alright) used by people to start sentences if they affect the communication in any manner.
Formatting is very important when it comes to interrogations transcription in order to make the transcript legible and prepare it for later quoting during court procedures. In most cases, there would be a prescribed format. Generally, you should include the name of the interviewee, name of the investigator and designation, along with the date and time of the interview. Depending upon the prescribed format, you can put the name of the participants at the beginning or in the footnote section in the transcript.
Give More Attention to Non-native Speakers
If the participants are not native speakers, they may use uncommon expressions and have unfamiliar accents. They may not stop the sentence where you would normally expect them to stop. You should listen carefully to the intonations of their voice, keep an eye on uncommon expressions and use your judgment while deciding whether or not they completed the sentence.
There would be absolutely no embellishing allowed in police interrogations transcripts. You should transcribe in the same language as the native speaker says. For example, if the speaker said “wanna” or “gotta,” you should put it down as “wanna” or “gotta.” If the speakers were yelling at each other during the interview, reflect that in the transcript with an exclamation mark. Highlight the word the speaker is stressing during the interview. If the speaker is repeating a particular word, make sure to repeat that word in the transcript.
Once you finish the transcript, revise it and listen to the transcript for the second time. This will help you to correct mistakes if any, and achieve consistency.
You can ease your work burden and save time by outsourcing the transcription work. In this way, you can receive help from experienced transcriptionists and ensure a high level of accuracy with the quality assessment team. However, you should make sure that the legal transcription company that you choose has in place all the necessary security measures to ensure maximum protection for your data.