New policy for police in how to deal with child abuse

There will be an overhaul of how police and prosecutors deal with alleged sexual offences against children  in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Photo Credit: Tjook via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Tjook via Compfight cc

New guidelines for police and prosecutors in England and Wales will be drawn up, and a panel will review cases where alleged perpetrators were not charged, it is expected to be announced.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer told the BBC there was an “overcautious” approach with victims.

He said the focus was too much on whether the victim was telling the truth and not enough on the suspect.

“I am not advocating the test for prosecution should change,” he said.

Describing this as a “watershed moment,” Mr Starmer said we need to “clear the decks of a raft of existing guidelines”.

Once the new guidance has been written, training will also be offered to police and prosecutors dealing with child exploitation cases.

Learning from past mistakes

Policies towards child abuse cases are changing since the Savilles scandal Photo Credit: Ben Cooper via Compfight cc
Policies towards child abuse cases are changing since the Savilles scandal Photo Credit: Ben Cooper via Compfight cc

A review into allegations against the late DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Saville, found he had carried out more than 200 sexual offences over a 54-year period.

Allegations were reported to police several times while he was alive but no action was taken against him.

New policies are expected to prevent such mistakes from happening in future.


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About hannahsmithson

Hi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...

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