‘The Making of an Expert Detective’—A European Perspective: Comparing Decision-Making in Norway and UK

  • Ivar Fahsing


Fahsing states that the SIO’s decision style and mindset was one of the major “solving factors” in a successful investigation. He discusses the need for increased awareness and strong system-support when moving from suspect identification to verification. His groundbreaking studies of British and Norwegian detectives compared the awareness and quality of investigative decisions made by experienced detectives and novice police officers in two countries with markedly different models for the development of investigative expertise (England and Norway). While the knowledge and awareness of critical factors were remarkably high and consistent in both countries (Study I), did accredited homicide detectives in England vastly outperform novice police officers in the number of reported adequate investigative hypotheses and actions. In Norway however, bachelor educated novices did better than highly experienced homicide detectives. The main factor behind these remarkable findings seems to be differences in national policy, such as professional accreditation and system support between the two countries. How to best compare and develop detective expertise that might act as a generic safeguard towards such biased decisions has not systematically addressed before.


Investigative management Decision-making Measuring investigative quality Hypotheses driven investigation Verification and falsification 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Fahsing
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Police University CollegeOsloNorway

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