Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

TRAINING FOR CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATORS SHOULD BE IMPROVED

  • Comment
Training for child abuse investigators could be made more consistent through the adoption of a core national curric...
Training for child abuse investigators could be made more consistent through the adoption of a core national curriculum. This is the key finding of a police research paper published by the home office policing and reducing crime unit.

The authors of the report 'Child Abuse: Training Investigating Officers' visited 12 forces across the country and looked at their training arrangements. They also held a series of focus groups with officers where training issues were explored in more depth.

The main findings are:

- There is wide variation in the length, structure and content of training for child abuse investigative officers across police forces;

- Although officers appreciated the flexibility of the existing guidelines they sometimes found them too ambiguous. Officers also felt there could be more guidance with regards to children with special needs.

- There was wide support for a national training curriculum - 84 percent of training investigative officers who attended a national conference endorsed the idea. They felt it would improve consistency and quality of training; make the transfer of staff between forces easier and enhance the status of trained officers among colleagues and in the witness box. The report outlines a suggested core curriculum.

The report encourages police forces to:

- consider adopting the core elements of the suggested national curriculum;

- include more practice in interviewing children as part of their training programmes;

- update staff regularly on new developments in their field of work;

- encourage 'working together' - including close contact with social services and child protection units in other forces to share best practice.

Home office minister, Paul Boateng welcomed the report:

'Officers who interview abused children are under a huge amount of pressure and we recognise the crucial part they play in securing convictions. They are entitled to the support and co-operation of all who care about children. Developing and improving their training can only benefit the child and lead to a better quality of evidence which should mean more prosecutions.

'Improving evidence gathering in child abuse cases echoes the government's pledge to offer more protection to child witnesses under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill which we published last week.

'A national curriculum is clearly an idea which is supported by professionals within the field and with good reason. I welcome setting a national standard to improve upon and help develop what is a very sensitive and highly valued part of police work.'

NOTES

- Copies of the report are available by faxing 0171 273 4001

- The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill was published on 3 December 1998.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.