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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 182303 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of the Use of Videotaped Evidence Interviews in Child Abuse Investigations
Journal: International Journal of Police Science and Management  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:March 2000  Pages:324-336
Author(s): J. C. Wilson; G. M. Davies
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper reports on the first analysis of the content of a sample of videotaped evidential interviews of alleged victims of child abuse in Great Britain, as measured by adherence to the Memorandum of Good Practice and in terms of the quantity and quality of the information elicited from the child.
Abstract: The sample of 40 videotaped interviews was obtained from six police forces in England and Wales. The interviews were conducted between 3 and 14 months after the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act (1991). This sample of tapes was randomly selected from a larger sample of 344 interviews. A rating scale was developed to assess each interview. The scale rated negative and positive aspects of the interview, as well as both the verbal and nonverbal characteristics of each of the four sections of the interview (rapport, free narrative, questioning, and closure). It also noted the technical aspects of the video. The demeanor of the child throughout the interview was noted as well. Generally, the interviews complied with the phased interview structure and adhered to the standards for successful rapport, questioning, and closure. Frequently, however, the free narrative phase was omitted altogether, or the children were unnecessarily rushed on to questioning. Questioning consisted more often of closed rather than open-ended questions, which had the effect of narrowing the child's responses and discouraging him/her from offering further information. Visual quality of the videotape was generally good, although children's faces were sometimes difficult to see, and in many cases the children were inaudible, especially when talking in detail about events. Overall, the majority of interviewers elicited from the child an account that enabled a rational decision to be made as to whether to pursue a case. 3 tables, 9 references, and appended videotape rating form
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child victim interviews; Child victims; Foreign laws; Personal interviews; Videotapes
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