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Police officers' and legal professionals' perceptions regarding how children are, and should be, questioned about repeated abuse

Guadagno, Belinda, Powell, Martine and Wright, Rebecca 2006, Police officers' and legal professionals' perceptions regarding how children are, and should be, questioned about repeated abuse, Psychiatry psychology and law, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 251-260, doi: 10.1375/pplt.13.2.251.

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Title Police officers' and legal professionals' perceptions regarding how children are, and should be, questioned about repeated abuse
Author(s) Guadagno, Belinda
Powell, MartineORCID iD for Powell, Martine orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Wright, Rebecca
Journal name Psychiatry psychology and law
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 251
End page 260
Publisher Australian Academic Press Pty Ltd
Place of publication Bowen Hills, Qld.
Publication date 2006-11
ISSN 1321-8719
1934-1687
Summary This study explored the perceptions of police officers and legal professionals (i.e., prosecutors, defence lawyers and a judge) about (a) what particularisation is, (b) the type of information that is required for particularisation to occur, and (c) how particularisation is best achieved in cases of repeated child abuse. The professionals' perceptions (all experts in this area) were elicited via individual in-depth semi-structured interviews. While all participants acknowledged the importance of particularisation, the views of the police officers varied in several important ways to those of the other professionals. Overall, the police officers perceived that highly specific details (such as the location, date and time of the offence) are essential for particularisation to occur, and that maximising the number of separate offences and specific details about each offence increases the chance of successful prosecution. In contrast, the legal professionals perceived that the primacy goal of the police officers should be to elicit a free-narrative account of one or more offences. A high proportion of specific questions was perceived to negatively impact on the child's credibility by contaminating the evidence. The implications of these findings are discussed.




Language eng
DOI 10.1375/pplt.13.2.251
Field of Research 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003863

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
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