Belgian police to use investigative hypnosis techniques

Police will be able to question victims of heavy sexual crimes under hypnosis in the short term. The State Secretary for Equal Opportunities Elke Sleurs (N-VA) announced that two police officers are following a special training in forensic and investigative hypnosis techniques.

Heavily traumatised victims of sexual offences often "block" the facts and are unable to provide any further details on their assailant(s).  A special type of investigation could solve this, a press statement released by Sleurs' cabinet explains.

Hypnosis has been used in criminal cases since the nineties by psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors in Belgium, but the aim was always a therapeutic one. Investigative hypnosis is directly aimed at helping the criminal investigation to move forward.

A Dutch-speaking and a Francophone police officer are to follow a special course in forensic or investigative hynosis in the United States. "This technique is being used quite often in the United States, but in Europe it's new and there is no adequate training available", explains Sleurs.

The two specialists will be able to work across the whole country. Victims will first have to give their personal go-ahead. The statements adds that "victims often feel better after this type of hearing."