|Police sent on hypnosis courses
Police officers are being sent on hypnosis courses,
as part of the "new frontier in UK policing".
Telegraph | December 17, 2009
Officers are being encouraged to sign up to a course by Tom Silver, who is better known as a 'celebrity hypnotherapist' on American chat shows, in an attempt to gain more information from suspects.
Mr Silver, who has appeared on the Montel Williams and Ricki Lake chat shows on US TV, where he gave a guest an "orgasmic handshake", normally charges £1,000-a-day for courses in his home country.
But after being contacted by PC Mark Hughes, of Cheshire police, Mr Silver - a master hypnotist - agreed a 'free one day taster course' for cops before they sign up to his six day course, costing £1,500.
The course will teach students 'cutting edge techniques', including an introduction into Electroencephalography (EEG) and will be paid for out of police coffers, according to respected industry magazine Police Review.
EEG is the recording of electrical activity in the brain gathered by placing sensors on the scalp which monitor 'neuron activity' - which cops believe can help 'encourage' suspects and witnesses to tell the truth.
PC Mark Hughes, an investigative skills trainer with Cheshire Constabulary, personally organised Mr Silver's trip to the university in June next year.
He said that 'forensic hypnosis' is a the 'next logical step' for investigators to use when other 'more traditional methods' fail and said officers interested in new techniques should sign up to the course - despite its cost.
PC Hughes told Police Review: "Putting people in a receptive brainwave state makes it likelier that the truth would come out.
"Forensic hypnosis is a scientific approach as helmets monitor brain activity and anyone who is lying would have wide-awake brainwave patterns.
"Forensic hypnosis does not prove guilt but it can give new lines of enquiry when traditional methods have failed.
"I have studied neuro-linguistic programming where you look at language patterns and eye movements to see if someone is lying.
"For me it is the next logical step for investigators to take.
"It is the next frontier."
David Pickover, a former assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and Police Review's legal editor, said: "It is difficult to imagine circumstances where hypnotism is sensible or necessary but there is nothing to prevent officers from suggesting it to witnesses.
"The notion of regressing a witness so that a more accurate record of events is stimulated sounds an attractive proposition but we must recognise that the boundaries of hypnosis and its worth are still vague, at the least viewed with suspicion and at the worst with total scepticism.
"Evidence obtained under hypnosis would unquestionably be intensively examined by courts and viewed with extreme caution."
Silver has previously appeared on Ricki Lake, where he gave a woman an "orgasmic handshake".
He hypnotised a woman called Jamaica to "sleep", before he told the audience he would give her the "greatest orgasm" of her life when she woke up and shook a man's hand. She then woke up and lunged on men getting more excited.