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The Changing Landscape of Investigative Interviewing - A Canadian Perspective

  • 10 May 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Zoom

The Changing Landscape of Investigative Interviewing - A Canadian Perspective

The confession of a suspect has been "…regarded as the most powerful, persuasive, and damning evidence of guilt that the state can adduce" (MacFarlane, 2006) and yet unlike most other Western countries, Canadian law enforcement are at a distinct advantage when it comes to eliciting this profound form of evidence.  However, despite this perceived advantage, the law of statement admissibility has become increasingly more difficult to navigate.

Det. Thomas will speak about the successes, failures and challenges of the ever-changing landscape of investigative interviewing in Canada as both the police and the academic community continue to explore new and innovative methods and techniques in an attempt to maximize the amount of information obtained from an accused suspect, while reducing the risks associated with false confessions.

Detective Rob Thomas has been a member of the Toronto Police Service for the past 34 years. In 2007, he was certified as a forensic polygraph examiner by the Canadian Police College and now serves as a senior examiner for the Toronto Police where he administers polygraph examinations to field investigators in support of their criminal investigations. In addition to polygraph, Rob also assists the various investigative offices and specialized units of the Toronto Police with in-custody suspect interviews, as well as developing interviewing strategies in cases involving serious, high profile or complex criminal investigations.

Throughout his career Rob has worked in a variety of different capacities, including uniformed policing, the Criminal Investigations Branch, the Public Order Unit and the Financial Crime Unit. More recently, Rob has worked with the RCMP – Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) as a member of their Investigative Interview Team where he has assisted with several high profile terrorism files.

Rob has presented to federal, provincial, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the private sector, and he is currently a part-time instructor at the Toronto. Police College and Humber College where he lectures on the topic of Investigative. Interviewing and Statement Admissibility.

                    Prior to policing, Rob studied Commerce at Ryerson University.


The Council of Professional Investigators of Ontario (CPIO) is dedicated to the representation of the profession of Private Investigators in the Province of Ontario, through the development and application of industry training, professional standards, and code of ethics.


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