UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

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Ketchup
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UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Ketchup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:50 pm

I think perhaps the UK Police are contemplating following America's policy here.

Official police guidance tells investigators not to rule out 'psychic help' in missing people cases

The UK College of Policing has released draft police guidance on missing persons for consultation, with a new focus on social media.

​The Consultation, which will run until 9 October, will lead to official guidance for police officers – known as Authorised Professional Practice (APP) – to support them in missing persons investigations.


Extract from the Consultation regarding the guidelines on using psychics in police investigations:
Psychics

High-profile missing person investigations nearly always attract the interest of psychics and others, such as witches and clairvoyants, stating that they possess extrasensory perception. Any information received from psychics should be evaluated in the context of the case, and should never become a distraction to the overall investigation and search strategy unless it can be verified. These contacts usually come from well-intentioned people, but the motive of the individual should always be ascertained, especially where financial gain is included. The person’s methods should be asked for, including the circumstances in which they received the information and any accredited successes.
https://www.app.college.police.uk/consu ... /#psychics

A spokesperson for the COP said, in this context, “accredited success” means previous cases where a psychic has given police information that turns out to be correct.


The Daily Beast reports:
In 2006, 28 British forces told the journal Critical Thinking that they did not and have never used psychics.
Related links:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... yants.html

http://home.bt.com/news/news-extra/offi ... 4000877002

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyat ... -psychics/


PSYCHIC CRIMINOLOGY: A Guide For Using Psychics In Investigations
By Whitney S. Hibbard, Raymond W. Worring, Richard Brennan
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bindeweede
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by bindeweede » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:51 pm

Steven Novella has responded to the Consultation Document.
The draft guidelines for investigators is highly problematic. While it starts off reasonably, it plays into gullibility regarding the exploitations of alleged psychic detectives. It also does not provide investigators with any real insight. It reads like it was written by someone who is not really familiar with the phenomenon of alleged psychics in general or the history of their involvement with police and missing persons cases.

Whoever wrote the draft should have done a little more investigation before writing it.

Hopefully they will receive useful feedback and fix the glaring problems and omissions in the guidelines.
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by chaggle » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:51 pm

A couple of other views from the skeptisphere...

Sharon Hill´s Doubtful News...

http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/08/uk-coll ... ssistance/
PSYCHICS
UK College of Policing allows alarming opportunity to accept psychic assistance
by idoubtit • August 29, 2015 • 19 Comments

What in the Sam Hell is this bullshit from the UK College of Policing? Where do they get the foundation? Taxpayers may not be pleased.
Hayley Stevens takes a slightly more circumspect view although in her customary direct style...

http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/police-pscychics-freak-out/
Firstly, shut up Doubtful News. Seriously.

This is not the College of Policing saying that psychics are real or that psychic insight is a valid form of investigation to be used in missing persons cases. They’re actually just holding a consultation about investigation practices in missing persons cases to make sure they are doing the right things with their resources. It runs until October. As a UK tax payer I am pleased that such consultations happen.
I don´t think there´s a lot of love lost between those two...
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Ketchup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:52 pm

bindeweede wrote:Steven Novella has responded to the Consultation Document.
The draft guidelines for investigators is highly problematic. While it starts off reasonably, it plays into gullibility regarding the exploitations of alleged psychic detectives. It also does not provide investigators with any real insight. It reads like it was written by someone who is not really familiar with the phenomenon of alleged psychics in general or the history of their involvement with police and missing persons cases.

Whoever wrote the draft should have done a little more investigation before writing it.

Hopefully they will receive useful feedback and fix the glaring problems and omissions in the guidelines.
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/inde ... um=twitter


Steven Novella appears to be talking out of the top of his head - on a subject that he is not sufficiently familiar with.
His 'Conclusion' in that article suggests:
  • "The draft guidelines for investigators is highly problematic. While it starts off reasonably, it plays into gullibility regarding the exploitations of alleged psychic detectives. It also does not provide investigators with any real insight. It reads like it was written by someone who is not really familiar with the phenomenon of alleged psychics in general or the history of their involvement with police and missing persons cases.

    Whoever wrote the draft should have done a little more investigation before writing it."
He is obviously not aware that there is in existence an officially produced document entitled PRACTICE ADVICE ON SEARCH MANAGEMENT AND PROCEDURES (2006) *
"produced by the National Centre for Policing Excellence (NCPE) on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). * It will be updated according to legislative and policy changes and re-released as required. The NCPE was established by the Police Reform Act 2002. As part of its remit the NCPE is required to develop policing doctrine, including practice advice, in consultation with ACPO, the Home Office and the Police Service. Practice advice produced by the NCPE should be used by chief officers to shape police responses to ensure that the general public experience consistent levels of service. The implementation of all practice advice will require operational choices to be made at local level in order to achieve the appropriate police response"
The relevant passages relating to Psychics and Missing Persons (as quoted in the news articles and comments currently circulating)
can be found in Section 16, page 172. Those newspaper articles are quoting the wording already used in that existing document.
http://library.college.police.uk/docs/n ... e-2006.pdf
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by bindeweede » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:54 pm

Ketchup, I see that you have not, as yet, pointed Dr Novella in the direction of the document entitled PRACTICE ADVICE ON SEARCH MANAGEMENT AND PROCEDURES (2006), or suggested to him that he
appears to be talking out of the top of his head - on a subject that he is not sufficiently familiar with.
Is this imminent?

;-)

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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Ketchup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:54 pm

bindeweede wrote:Ketchup, I see that you have not, as yet, pointed Dr Novella in the direction of the document entitled PRACTICE ADVICE ON SEARCH MANAGEMENT AND PROCEDURES (2006), or suggested to him that he
appears to be talking out of the top of his head - on a subject that he is not sufficiently familiar with.
Is this imminent?

;-)
Far better if he were to follow his own advice - and "do a little more investigation before writing".

Then he would discover that following consultation a further directive was produced in 2012 -with nothing extracted, but a bit more added to the guidance referring to Psychics. (Page 28):
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ ... 20vol2.pdf

Now it seems there are some additional guidelines proposed and put out for consultation (to conclude on 9th October), suggesting that with regard to psychics, they should be aware that (although in most cases the psychic's intentions are well-meant) some individuals may only be concerned about self-promotion and consequent financial gain - and this is the reason it is also suggested that "the person’s motives and methods should be asked for, including the circumstances in which they received the information and any accredited successes" ("accredited successes" in this context - as quoted by the COP spokesperson - meaning "previous cases where a psychic has given police information that turns out to be correct".)

I am sure I heard some time ago that there is in existence a legitimate list of "accredited psychics" at the Police's disposal - somewhere ..... but this is spoken of with the utmost secrecy. No-one seems willing to give any definitive information on it, so if there is any evidence of the truth of this, it's very hard to find.

I think it's also made clear in the Manual that overall, the implementation of these guidelines may be varied from one locality police department to another - at the discretion of the respective individuals in charge.
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Ketchup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:55 pm

Chaggle, the 'Doubtful News' link you have given doesn't work.

This one should, hopefully, take you there: http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/08/uk-coll ... ssistance/

(I had already read it, but didn't think it worth airing.


I agree wholeheartedly with Hayley Stevens in this instance.
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Croydon13013 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:56 pm

I tend to agree far more with Sharon Hill and Steven Novella. They have both commented without understanding all the details and that similar guidance already existed; but that doesn't alter the fundamental point that the police should NOT be taking "psychics" seriously when investigating murders and abductions.

Hayley Stevens is, generally, an attention seeking loon of the sort that skepticism has attracted many of since it became popular. She just likes to put people down and bitch, she's done the believers and is now turning on the rational. Not believing in ghosts doesn't make one a skeptic.

Doubtful News is a valuable resource that is doing a lot of work and is usually right.
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Ketchup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:57 pm

Croydon13013 wrote:I tend to agree far more with Sharon Hill and Steven Novella. They have both commented without understanding all the details and that similar guidance already existed; but that doesn't alter the fundamental point that the police should NOT be taking "psychics" seriously when investigating murders and abductions.

Hayley Stevens is, generally, an attention seeking loon of the sort that skepticism has attracted many of since it became popular. She just likes to put people down and bitch, she's done the believers and is now turning on the rational. Not believing in ghosts doesn't make one a skeptic.

Doubtful News is a valuable resource that is doing a lot of work and is usually right.

Irrespective of your opinion of what is generally and usually the case, in this instance it's glaringly obvious that Ms Stevens' approach is the most skeptically thought-out one in the context of the topic at hand.

http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/police-pscychics-freak-out/

This is her logical and sensible Conclusion:
How about, instead, taking part in the damn consultation? You can find their current information on the handling of psychics (and other practices) tips here and you can download the consultation form here to send back to them.

Be proactive and not reactive.
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Croydon13013 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:57 pm

I used "generally" and "usually" carefully and properly. I said that I "tend to agree far more" (which was crap use of the English language, but it's what I said) with one side than the other. I'm not denying valid points from Stevens, Hill or Novella.

Stevens has put more effort into looking at the details of this story and that is a good thing. But Hill and Novella are both American and, it would seem, they weren't really that bothered to get into the detail. Doubtful News isn't there to do an in-depth analysis of every weird story in the world, it just tries to mention them and link to them with a quick sceptical comment. the comments seem valid to me, at least in a general sense.

The specific quote above from Haley Stevens doesn't contradict Doubtful News, it complements it for the UK reader. It is also suggesting that Sharon Hill and her (mostly US) readers take part in a British consultation, which is not really a good idea. A consultation potentially swamped with critical responses from American skeptics?
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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by Zep » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:58 pm

I suspect the police keep note of who these psychics phoning in are claiming to know details of cases because they MAY become suspects. You can imagine the conversation going a bi like this:

Psychic: Officer, I'm sensing a dead body at the bottom of that well, killed with an axe blow to the head.
Officer: Interesting, because we never mentioned those details to the public.
Psychic: Then I'm good, aren't I!
Officer: That may be. But we would like to know more about why the well is on your land and what that axe with blood on it is doing in your garden shed...

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Re: UK Police Guidelines on using psychics in investigations

Post by chaggle » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:59 pm

Charge them with wasting police time unless they are right. That might make them think about what they are doing.
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