The government’s response
Banning the ‘five techniques’
in Interrogation, intelligence and security
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This chapter identifies the government’s responses to the use of the ‘five techniques’ in Northern Ireland and to the negative publicity provoked by public knowledge that the techniques had been used within the United Kingdom. These responses consisted firstly of the Compton Inquiry into allegations of brutality. A public inquiry into whether the guidelines governing interrogation ought to be revised – the Parker Inquiry – followed, as did the decision, announced in the House of Commons in March 1972 by then Prime Minister Edward Heath, that the ‘five techniques’ were banned from all future use by British personnel. This ban represents a significant change in official attitudes towards these interrogation techniques, and was contained within new, more detailed, interrogation guidelines.

Interrogation, intelligence and security

Controversial British techniques


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