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Collaborative Research into International Perspectives on Best Practice in Sexual Offence Investigations

WALTON-WILLIAMS, Laura (2017) Collaborative Research into International Perspectives on Best Practice in Sexual Offence Investigations. In: Staffordshire University Staff Research Conference, 23rd May 2016, Science Centre, Staffordshire University, ST4 2DF.

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Abstract or description

The number of incidents of sexual offences recorded by the police in England and Wales increased by 12%, when compared with the previous year, up to 116,012 reports in the year ending December 2016. The number of complainants reporting sexual offences, or accessing services designed to support victims of these types of offences, is known to represent only a very small proportion of the true number of victims.
Whilst physical evidence is only one type of forensic evidence used in sexual offence investigations, it can be incredibly useful in identifying the perpetrator(s) of the crime. Therefore, it is imperative that the quality of any physical evidence is beyond reproach in order to maximise the potential for achieving a positive outcome. The equipment used in evidence collection, and the mechanisms by which any samples are recovered should be regularly reviewed in order to ensure that they remain fit for purpose.
This research has attempted to evaluate different stages of sexual offence investigations, from reporting of the offence to appropriate organisations through to the examination of the complainant in order to recover physical evidence. It has involved working alongside colleagues in Psychology and Health, as well as collaborating with external organisations such as Sexual Assault Research Centres (SARCs) and Police Forces.
Furthermore, this research, supported by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, aims to examine practices in the UK, the USA and Canada to gain a better understanding of best practice and to establish mechanisms for continual sharing of this practice in the future.
Future plans for development of this research include setting up a ‘Sexual Offences Research Group’ with representatives across the University, as well as key partner organisations, to develop a reputation as leading researchers into the criminal, health and societal impacts of sexual offences.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
Event Title: Staffordshire University Staff Research Conference
Event Location: Science Centre, Staffordshire University, ST4 2DF
Event Dates: 23rd May 2016
Depositing User: Laura WALTON-WILLIAMS
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 12:37
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:46

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