Home > Publications > Investigative Police Practice in the UK: Achieving Best Evidence in Work with Young Victims of Abuse

Investigative Police Practice in the UK: Achieving Best Evidence in Work with Young Victims of Abuse

Prof. Julia C. Davidson & Prof. Antonia Bifulco

Abstract:
This article presents findings from research undertaken by the Authors with police officers in
the UK. The initial findings are reported here, the research sought to review police practice
with child victims of sexual abuse with direct reference to the views of children and their
parents/guardians about their experiences. Although the research was conducted in the UK it
has relevance for police practice elsewhere. The aim of the research was to inform the
development of professional practice and police training in this sensitive area. This article
describes findings from a review of the literature focusing upon interview practice with child
victims and findings from Stage One of the work which draws upon documentary evidence
from case files and a small number of interviews with police officers. This preliminary work
has highlighted several key issues: First, a large number of unresolved cases which are
recorded as ‘no crime’, often due to insufficient evidence and the unwillingness of child
victims to participate further in the process. Secondly, although police officers receive
training, insufficient training opportunities appear to exist beyond this particularly in respect
of child interviewing techniques.

Keyword: Child Abuse, Investigative Practice Children, Child Victims Interviewing; Achieving Best Evidence