Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Dr Laura Farrugia

Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Psychology / Laura Farrugia
Expert for press contact

Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BSc Forensic Psychology

I joined the University of Sunderland in 2018, having spent some time working at Manchester Metropolitan University. In addition to being a Chartered Psychologist and working as a Senior Lecturer, I work as a Registered Intermediary (accredited by the Ministry of Justice) and assist with vulnerable victims/witnesses during the police interview and trial stages.

Teaching and supervision

I am the Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology. In addition, I am Module Leader for Psychology of Detection, Interviewing, and the Criminal Trial, The Psychology of Serious and Violent Offending and Forensic Psychology in Practice.

Research interests for potential research students

I am primarily interested in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and how it deals with vulnerable individuals, especially mentally disordered suspects at the police interview stage. Are best practice interview techniques appropriate for everyone; does one size fit all?

I also have a keen research interest in how mentally disordered individuals are perceived within the CJS and the role of Appropriate Adults during interviews with vulnerable suspects, as well as false confessions and miscarriages of justice. In addition, my research interests include the role of the Registered Intermediary and vulnerable victims and witnesses.


My PhD focused specifically on the investigative interviewing of mentally disordered suspects. This included how police officers perceive those with mental disorder and explored concepts of 'dangerousness' and the 'criminalisation hypothesis'.

My current research work investigates if current interviewing practice and guidance is best practice for this vulnerable group: including questioning strategies, interviewer and interviewee characteristics (such as suggestibility, compliance and acquiescence), and the role and efficacy of the Appropriate Adult. I am generally interested in any research that explores the broader context of vulnerability within the Criminal Justice System!

I also examine the way that police officers evaluate their own interviews and I am one of the founding members of the Forensic Interview Trace.


Jump to: Article
Number of items: 6.


Farrugia, Laura (2021) Identifying Vulnerability in Police Custody: Making Sense of Information Provided to Custody Officers. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 80 (102169). ISSN 1752-928X

Farrugia, Laura and Gabbert, Fiona (2020) Forensic interviewing of mentally disordered suspects: The impact of interview style on investigation outcomes. Current Psychology, ahead. p. 1. ISSN 1046-1310

Farrugia, Laura and Gabbert, Fiona (2019) Vulnerable suspects in police interviews: exploring current practice in England and Wales. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 17 (1). pp. 17-30. ISSN 1544-4767

Farrugia, Laura, Oxburgh, Gavin and Gabbert, Fiona (2019) Effective evaluation of forensic interviews: The Forensic Interview Trace (FIT)©. Investigative Interviewing: Research and Practice, 10 (1). pp. 20-31. ISSN 2227-7420

Farrugia, Laura and Gabbert, Fiona (2019) The ‘appropriate adult’: what they do and what they should do in police interviews with mentally disordered suspects. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 29 (3). pp. 134-141. ISSN 0957-9664

Farrugia, Laura, Gabbert, F, Milne, R and Cherryman, J (2016) Police officers' perceptions and experiences with mentally disordered suspects. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 49 (A). pp. 138-146. ISSN 0160-2527

This list was generated on Tue Sep 28 06:21:42 2021 BST.
  • Police interviewing including effective evaluations of police interviews and the Forensic Interview Trace
  • Vulnerable suspects, particularly those with a mental disorder
  • The role of the Appropriate Adult
  • False confessions
  • Miscarriages of justice
  • The Registered Intermediary
  • The trial process

Last updated 25 June 2021

ReciteMe accessibility toolbar button