Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Vital evidence lost in child sex abuse cases

"VITAL evidence in child sex abuse cases is being lost because laptops, cameras and microphones frequently break down during interviews with the victims, it has been claimed."

"Faulty equipment means social workers and police who work jointly on interviews in abuse inquiries are even resorting to taking notes by pen and paper on a regular basis."

"This is said to have led to cases breaking down before they reach court because the quality of the written evidence is so poor."

"And it is also causing problems with child victims being interrupted during harrowing disclosures about abuse while a police officer or social worker ‘catches up’, interrupting the flow of the interview..."

"Cases are also said to have broken down because the quality of the interview was poor with police or social workers asking too many ‘leading questions’ which may prompt the respondent to answer in a particular way."

"A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: `We have committed to working with partner organisations to examine the use of pre-recorded evidence for child witnesses, including in relation to joint investigative interviews currently carried out by the police and social work`."

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