Lie detector test training for detectives

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Two South Yorkshire Police officers have begun training on how to use US-style polygraph tests so they can better understand the risk posed by sex offenders.

Detective Constables Andy Tinker and Richard Chambers started the 11-week course this month in the first scheme of its kind in British policing after getting extra money for training. Polygraph testing is used in court in 19 states in America, subject to the discretion of the trial judge, but it is widely used by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies across the US.

South Yorkshire is one of two forces who are using the initiative to manage sex offenders. The tests will be offered to sex offenders who are on bail or being dealt with by probation and will be used only for risk assessments, not in court.

Officers will monitor heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and levels of perspiration to assess whether the subject is being truthful about their behaviour.