Child abuse index

Key definitions

1 Child

2 Child abuse

3 Child protection

4 Child sexual abuse

5 Emotional abuse

6 Child cruelty

6.1 Neglect

7 Physical abuse

8 Significant harm

Police response to investigating child abuse

Risk and associated investigations

1 Risk

1.1 Circumstances of the child

1.2 Behaviour and circumstances of the suspect

1.3 Assessing and managing risk

1.4 Common Law Police Disclosure

2 Associated investigations

2.1 Abandoned babies or children

2.2 Allegations against people who work with children

2.3 Animal abuse

2.4 Bullying in schools

2.5 Child abduction (including parental abduction)

2.6 Child homicides

2.7 Child trafficking

2.8 Complex child abuse

2.9 Delayed reporting of child abuse allegations

2.10 Domestic abuse

2.11 Fabricated or induced illness

2.12 Female genital mutilation

2.13 Forced marriage

2.14 Grooming

2.15 Honour-based violence and other illegitimate justifications for abuse

2.16 Indecent images of children

2.16.1 Interpretation of indecency

2.16.2 Sentencing Advisory Panel Guidelines

2.16.3 Victim identification

2.16.4 Handling images

2.17 Managing sexual offenders and violent offenders

2.18 Missing children or families

2.19 Offending by children

2.20 Rape, sexual activity and pregnancy of a child

2.21 Sexual activity

2.22 Sexual activity with consent

2.23 Sexual exploitation of children

2.24 Stalking and harassment

2.25 Travelling sexual offenders

2.26 Unexpected death of a child

Staffing and the child abuse investigation unit

1 Response and neighbourhood policing teams

2 Specialist investigations and departments

3 Child abuse investigation units

3.1 Definition

3.2 Investigation of crimes relating to child abuse

3.3 Other specialist investigations

3.4 Advisory role

3.5 Leadership

3.5.1 Multi-agency roles

4 General staffing issues

4.1 Staff selection and vetting

4.2 Staff welfare and support

4.3 Supervisors

4.4 Welfare services

5 Training and development

5.1 Training for supervisors and senior investigators

Information management

1 Linked series

2 Use of the term referral

2.1 External referral

2.2 Internal referral

3 Report

4 Assessment of external and internal referrals, reports and intelligence

4.1 Risk assessment

5 Role of intelligence

5.1 Information and intelligence checks

5.2 Use of the National Intelligence Model

5.3 Analysis

6 Feedback to agencies and individuals who report or refer concerns about children

Critical incidents and community impact assessments

1 Critical incidents

2 Community impact assessments

Multi-agency arrangements for safeguarding

1 Local safeguarding children boards

2 Other relevant multi-agency arrangements

3 Common assessment framework

4 Multi-agency prevention and education initiatives

Police officers suspected of child abuse

1 Notification

2 Local authority designated officers

Monitoring, evaluating and learning lessons

1 Performance

2 Joint performance indicators

 Police response to concern for a child

1 Information for an initial report

1.1 Questioning

1.1.1 Information gathering checklist

2 Preservation of the crime scene

2.1 Evidence gathering

3 Resources

4 Indicators of concern for a child

5 Powers of entry

6 Establishing the welfare of the child

6.1 Seeing and speaking to the child

6.2 Adult refusal to allow access to a child

6.3 Communication

6.4 Interpreters and registered intermediaries

6.5 Observing and recording the child’s condition

6.5.1 Recording the child’s condition checklist

6.6 Safeguarding the child’s welfare

6.6.1 Actions on arrival at the scene checklist

6.7 Parental responsibility

6.8 Arrest strategy

6.9 Planning

7 Police protection

7.1 Exercising police protection

7.2 Rationale

7.3 Suitable accommodation

7.4 Adolescent support units

7.5 Initiating officer

7.6 Designated officer

7.7 Releasing the child from police protection

7.8 Use of reasonable force

8 Investigative considerations

8.1 Electronic evidence

8.2 Seized images

8.3 Handling advice

8.4 Initial response if drug or salt-induced poisoning is suspected

8.5 Initial response to honour-based violence

8.6 Initial response to suspected parental abduction

8.6.1 Immediate actions in cases of suspected parental abduction checklist

9 Risk identification

9.1 Action in urgent or serious cases

9.1.1 Information for an internal referral to the child abuse investigation unit checklist

10 Single point of contact

11 Cross-border and international investigations

Further investigation

1 Managing a child abuse investigation

1.1 Media management

1.1.1 Responding to the press

2 Lines of enquiry in child abuse investigations

2.1 Potential lines of enquiry in child abuse investigations checklist

2.2 Cases of child neglect

2.2.1 Potential lines of enquiry in cases of neglect checklist

2.3 Lines of enquiry in cases involving indecent images of child abuse

2.4 Risk assessment

3 Forensic medical examinations

3.1 Strategy discussion

3.2 Consent

3.3 Emergency protection orders

3.4 Child assessment orders

3.5 Court order

3.6 Role of the examining doctor

3.7 Paediatric expertise

3.8 Location

3.9 Timing

3.10 Victim interview

3.11 Planning and recording

3.12 Documenting information

4 Physical evidence

4.1 Access to the victim

4.2 Photographic and visually recorded evidence

4.2.1 Use of photographic evidence checklist

4.2.2 Visually recorded evidence gathering checklist

4.3 Search strategies for indecent images of child abuse

4.4 Use of X-ray and similar techniques

4.5 Using recordings of calls to the police

5 Victim and witness evidence

5.1 Achieving best evidence in criminal proceedings interviews with children and special measures

5.2 Consent to an ABE interview with a child

5.3 Identification procedures and facial composition with child victims

5.4 Victim account

5.5 Victim personal statements

5.6 Withdrawal and retraction statements

6 Victim and witness welfare

6.1 Pre-trial therapy and counselling

6.2 Family liaison officer

6.3 Preparing for a child to give evidence at court

6.3.1 Vulnerable and intimidated victim/witness services

6.3.2 Victim Support and the Witness Service

6.4 Attendance at court

6.5 Linking or separating cases

6.6 Sustained victim/witness contact

6.7 Victim/witness contact records

6.8 Discussion points

6.9 Victim/witness visits

7 Additional sources of evidence

7.1 Debriefing the first officer at the scene

7.2 House-to-house enquiries and enquiries with other potential witnesses

7.3 Covert methods

8 Information and services from other agencies

8.1 Agency enquiries

9 Suspect interviews

9.1 Planning lines of questioning

9.2 Indecent images of child abuse and related offences

9.3 Interview questions

10 Pre-charge advice, charging and the CPS

10.1 Early liaison

10.2 Orders

10.2.1 File preparation checklist

11 Remand, police bail and release of suspects

11.1 Risk posed by the suspect

11.2 Remand

11.3 Bail

11.4 Bail conditions

11.5 Keeping the victim and parent or carer informed

11.6 Victim contact with the offender

11.7 Informing the suspect of no further action

11.8 Review panels

11.9 Multi-agency public protection arrangements and managing potentially dangerous persons

Managing complex child abuse investigations

1 Rationale 

2 Opening actions

2.1 Scoping the size and complexity of an investigation 

2.2 Liaising with the CPS

2.3 Police forces and partner agencies

2.4 Peer support

2.5 Engaging with children’s social care

2.6 Cases of institutional abuse

3 Staffing

3.1 Selection

3.2 Welfare

3.3 Training

3.4 Gold group

4 Initial considerations

4.1 Suspect’s current access to children

4.2 Continued risk to victims and witnesses

4.3 Obtaining intelligence

4.4 Corroborative evidence

4.5 File examination and retention by partner agencies

4.5.1 Option 1: police retention of files

4.5.2 Option 2: partner agency retention of files

4.5.3 Option 3: partner agency ‘embassy system’ co-located in police premises

4.6 Obtaining material relating to family court proceedings

4.7 Obtaining material relating to civil proceedings

4.8 Information protocol between police forces and local authorities

4.9 Disclosure to the CPS

5 Victim and witness identification

5.1 Strategy

5.2 Victim/witness approach and protocol

5.3 Telling victims about other allegations

6 Proving the allegation

6.1 Discussing the investigation

6.2 Further risk factors

6.3 Impact on those associated with victims, witnesses or suspects

6.4 Support groups

6.5 Other interested parties and groups

7 Suspects

7.1 Suspect strategy

7.2 Search of a suspect’s premises

7.3 Disciplinary proceedings relating to the suspect

7.4 Suspects living or working overseas

8 Arrest, charging and prosecution

8.1 Arrest

8.2 Pre-trial witness interviews

8.3 Charging

8.4 No further action policy

8.5 Victim’s Right to Review Scheme

8.6 Possible allegations of false complaints

9 Additional considerations

9.1 Exit strategy

9.2 Measuring success of an investigation

9.3 Disclosure of material to family or civil proceedings

9.4 Reviews

Linked reference material