22 March 2016

College comments on belief of victims

College CEO Alex Marshall has written to all chief constables, police and crime commissioners and heads of public protection units regarding the recording and investigation of crime.
Attached is the letter and Annex A, along with a statement on the College's position below.

‚ÄčCollege CEO, Chief Constable Alex Marshall, said:

 "There has been much discussion recently about the approach police take to allegations of sexual offences and abuse. As the professional body for policing, we are responsible for setting national standards and guidance in this area.
"Great effort has gone into building public trust in police investigations into reports of sexual abuse or exploitation and it is important this continues. To start an investigation from a position of doubt is unlikely to encourage victims to come forward.
"Existing guidance says that when an allegation is received, police should believe this account and record it as a crime, unless there is credible evidence at the point the allegation is made that determines no crime has been committed. In this case, it should be recorded as an incident.
"Our guidance on investigating these allegations calls for a thorough investigation of the facts. It is the credibility of the evidence, not solely the victim, that should be investigated and, where appropriate, presented to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to make a decision about prosecution.
"I have written to all chief constables and police and crime commissioners to make clear that our existing standards and guidance in this area will not be changing."

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