In an increasingly complex world, children and vulnerable individuals often face harrowing situations. For some, this means confronting the trauma of facing their perpetrators in court and undergoing cross-examination. It is crucial to provide these witnesses with a safe and supportive environment during investigative interviews to Achieve Best Evidence (ABE). Davidhorn releases a comprehensive set of guidelines for setting up the Child or Vulnerable Victim Interview Suite that can help achieving this goal.
Why planning is important
The primary objective of the Child or Vulnerable Victim Interview Suite is to deliver evidence of a high enough standard for use in court, all while minimizing the emotional distress that witnesses may experience throughout the legal process. Created by Davidhorn, this comprehensive guide sheds light on best practices for establishing the optimal setting to conduct and record investigative interviews with children and vulnerable witnesses.
By considering the delicate nature of their experiences, the guide ensures that the interview process is as comfortable and safe as possible. This approach not only helps witnesses share their stories effectively but also helps investigators gather crucial evidence and bring justice to light.
Investigators, legal professionals, social workers, and others involved in these interviews must appreciate the importance of the environment and technology used. From selecting the perfect room and layout to choosing the right audio and video equipment, every detail counts. By paying close attention to these factors, we can achieve successful outcomes for all parties while maintaining the highest levels of sensitivity and professionalism.
A Guide for Achieving Best Evidence
This guide serves as an all-encompassing resource for planning, setting up, and conducting interviews in facilities specifically designed for children and vulnerable witness interviews. By following these guidelines, which draw from decades of experience and insights from practitioners, investigators can create a comfortable and supportive atmosphere for witnesses, all while obtaining reliable evidence that stands up in court.
The guide is first presented at the The National Witness Interview Conference 2023, in London on Wednesday the 10th of May.
The solutions offered in this guide emphasize the need for sensitivity, fairness, and evidence integrity throughout the investigative interview process. By adhering to these best practices, law enforcement agencies can ensure that the rights and well-being of children and vulnerable witnesses are safeguarded, all while collecting the vital information needed to support the judicial process.