Statement Analysis is the most reliable deception detection tool available today and used by police forces, other investigative agencies like the FBI and in the private sector, for both deception and profile analysis. It owes its reliability to the speed at which the brain selects words to communicate from its own subjective dictionary.
On the 16th of July the Guardian reported that a woman was assaulted at Baker Street tube station and that the police are investigating. We are given statements from both the alleged victim and the alleged attacker.
In statement analysis, one of the first things we consider is: what would we normally expect in the language of truth. For the alleged victim, we expect her to be in a state of shock. The statements short and emotional language if present found at the end of the account if at all. Where emotional language appears in the ‘correct’ placements in the middle of the account we discern deception and story telling. We expect the accused to give us a reliable denial. A reliable denial has three elements wrapped up into the simple phrase ‘I didn’t [allegation]’ if any element is missing or there are more elements, it is an unreliable denial.
The alleged victim:
The victim took to reporting the crime on twitter, not the police, so at this point we are already raising a flag regarding as the motivations of this account. Further to this, in all the ruckus that took place, she had time to take out her phone and take a picture of the alleged attacker. We go to her statements to find out more:
This man at Baker Street station forcefully attempted to pull my hijab off and when I instinctively grabbed ahold of my scarf he hit me
First to note is that she does not begin with the pronoun ‘I’ which weakens her statement – we would expect in a truthful account the priority to be ‘I was attacked’ (something violent has just happened to her it is foremost in her mind) instead she gives the priority to ‘this man’
‘This’ is a sign of proximity (this book here, that book there -> proximity), one would expect distancing language from an attacker, I would like to know if she has previously met the man.
‘forcefully’ is a unnecessary word, she is story telling here and we take note for signs of deception. ‘attempted’ is not an economical word, we would expect ‘tried’. The language here is interesting and has the echos of police/legal language – I would investigate this woman for making prior allegations of hate crimes.
‘attempted’ indicates failure to complete the action.
‘instinctively’ here she has interjected an emotive word, she is story telling. People who are in shock do not elaborate their account with emotions – the truth is economical. This is also a unnecessary word so we again we flag for deception.
‘ahold’ is another unnecessary word, indicating story telling, and again an interesting word to choose. It is not a common word and again one that is most often heard in the court room.
The hijab changes to scarf – this indicates a change in experiential memory and I would like to know why the hijab changed from being a religious symbol of her virtue to an ordinary a scarf – particularly in light of the fact that we know from her statement that the hijab was not successfully removed. We have leakage here where she maybe telling us what actually happened.
‘my’ is used to take ownership of the hijab and the scarf.
He proceeded to verbally abuse my friends and I, pinning one of them against the wall and spitting in her face.
‘He proceeded’ again we see more court room police language here. I am now certain this is not the first allegation this woman has made. Hate crime reporting has become an industry, a way to make a living in the UK and many people in the services industry are having to walk on hot coals everyday as customers behave badly deliberately and shout ‘hate crime’ or ‘racism’ at the slightest opportunity. Again we are seeing an unnecessary word – what is interesting about the unnecessary words in this account is that she is on twitter, where economy with words is encouraged, yet she is still managing to insert them through out her account.
‘pinning’ is an interesting choice of word as well. When we hear this we assume someone is being ‘held’ in place and one does not need to hold someone against a wall to spit at them, it is usually to stop them from doing something. I am left wondering why he felt the need to hold a woman against the wall. Information is missing here.
Conclusion: Deception is detected.
The alleged attacker:
A reliable denial would be ‘I didn’t do it’. There is no need to explain.
We are not given the full statement here, only that he said the allegation was ”completely false. this is a unreliable denial with a need to persuade.
We are then given the following statement:
I would like to confirm I never hit or attacked anyone I simply defused the situation by separating them.
“The police is fully cooperating with me and will be able to obtain CCTV footage showing the three women attempting to attack my partner because we are in an interracial relationship
‘I would like to confirm’ is telling us what he would like to do but is not actually doing. He is not actually confirming, is saying he would like to – it is not the same thing.
‘never’ is an unreliable denial – we want the words ‘didn’t’ or ‘did not’
‘simply’ when we see words like this we know that it was anything but simple.
‘the situation’ – there was a situation and now I want to know what it was and why it involved ‘separating them’ – further to this, who is ‘them’?
‘with’ is used in distancing language, and here he puts the police in the position of co-operating with him, when one is normally cooperating with the police. Is he the one who has made the initial complaint ? This is not how the story is being reported in the news article, rather the article is being reported that the woman is the victim.
‘will’ – this future tense usage indicates that he does not know if they have acquired the footage as yet
‘the’ is used in relation to three women, indiction of them being known to him (for example – ‘a’ gun becomes ‘the’ gun once it has become known).
‘CCTV footage’ in mentioning this he is confident about what happened will be supported by CCTV. This is defensive language
‘because’ shows the need to explain, what follows is therefore unnecessary words. One thing we note about unnecessary words is, why are they important to the speaker? In the alleged victims account, we see them as need to persuade through story telling. Here we see the need to persuade as to the motivations of the altercation.
Conclusion: We do not have a reliable denial, and we can’t do it for him. It is clear an interaction took place the circumstances of which are not ‘simple’. His statement is defensive.
There is more to this incident than we are being told. There is a strong possibility that the people involved are in someway known to each other and that the alleged victim has a history of making allegations of ‘hate crime’ and ‘racism’. Yes an incident took place and it sounds like it was physical, if there was a ‘hate crime’ towards one person to another, we don’t know by whom, to whom or why. With so much information missing it is not a news story – I conclude that the publication of it is for propaganda purposes only.