How do people lie - what are the qualities of a "good" lie?

A "good" lie would normally have the following qualities:
  • It should be as close as possible to the truth. A good "lie" normally contains only a small percentage of false information.
  • The liar must be well versed in the lie - he / she should have rehearsed the lie by relating and testing it a number of times. For the same reason the liar should have sufficient time during which he/she should become familiar with the lie.
  • A good knowledge of the particular audience and their knowledge regarding the subject on which the lie is focusing.

Are confessions forced - how are confessions reached?

We do not force confessions. We do not use any method that is not in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. We respect the human dignity of every witness and suspect. Direct confrontational techniques and physical and psychological abuse of both witness and suspect reflects negatively on the professionalism of the investigator. We believe in mentally outwitting the guilty suspect by applying the investigator's specialised training and skills. By using this approach we normally find that worker organisations (trade unions) are prepared to accept the outcome of investigations in which our techniques have been applied. I believe that trade unions have a responsibility in ensuring that the human rights and the dignity of their members are respected. At the same time, I believe that trade unions support a crime-free South Africa and that the majority of their members are law-abiding citizens.

During training of investigators, attention is given to a method whereby a confession by a guilty suspect is obtained and the way in which the suspect is handled during such a situation. Experience has shown that confessions that are made purely due to the fact that the suspect experiences guilt or remorse seldom occur. Confessions are normally extracted once the guilty suspect is confronted with a well-founded accusation based on sound evidence. It should be realised that a confession is a traumatic experience for the guilty suspect and that training in this regard is absolutely essential. As a model for handling confessions we use a technique developed by an American called John Reid. We have studied different models and this model has definitely proved to be the best based on the results obtained.


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