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SOCIAL WORK DIRECTORS CALL FOR REVIEW OVER USE OF VIDEOS

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Social work directors are calling for an immediate review of the practice of getting children's evidence on video i...
Social work directors are calling for an immediate review of the practice of getting children's evidence on video in sex abuse cases, BBC Radio Four's Today programme reported this morning.

The Association of Directors of Social Services say the process of gaining the videos can be both damaging to the child victims and inefficient.

Out of 14,000 filmed interviews in one year, only 800 were used in court, the ADSS says, and those that were used resulted in very few convictions.

The ADSS estimates 100,000 hours of staff time have been wasted in this way and that the pursuit of evidence is overriding the needs of children.

ADSS spokesman Brian Waller said that there should be 'clearer criteria about circumstances in which video evidence is likely to be admissible in court.

'At the moment it is very vague and unclear and people are playing safe and interviewing too many children'.

He added that even if they have been videod, children still have to go into the witness box and be subject to hostile cross examination, the radio reports.

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