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Police and prosecutors' perceptions of adult sexual assault evidence associated with case authorisation and conviction

Darwinkel, Elli, Powell, Martine and Sharman, Stefanie J 2015, Police and prosecutors' perceptions of adult sexual assault evidence associated with case authorisation and conviction, Journal of police and criminal psychology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 213-220, doi: 10.1007/s11896-015-9162-9.

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Title Police and prosecutors' perceptions of adult sexual assault evidence associated with case authorisation and conviction
Author(s) Darwinkel, Elli
Powell, MartineORCID iD for Powell, Martine orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Sharman, Stefanie JORCID iD for Sharman, Stefanie J orcid.org/0000-0002-0635-047X
Journal name Journal of police and criminal psychology
Volume number 30
Issue number 4
Start page 213
End page 220
Total pages 8
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2015-12-01
ISSN 0882-0783
1936-6469
Keyword(s) Police
Prosecutors
Sexual offence
Investigative interview
Perceptions
Summary This study examined the association between the quality of verbal evidence in cases of sexual assault reported by adults and professionals’ (police and prosecutor) ratings of the likelihood that the cases will result in a conviction at trial. Sixteen police detectives and 19 prosecutors (all specialists in sexual assault) each read two mock sexual offence briefs of evidence, one of a case involving rape of an adult and the other involving an adult reporting historical child sexual abuse. For each case type, two versions of the briefs were developed with regard to evidence quality, which varied according to the degree of elaboration in the responses by the witnesses and suspect, and contextual evidence. Participants rated the likelihood of proceeding with a case and conviction (on 10-point likert scales) and provided a rationale for their decisions. Almost all of the participants agreed that the cases would proceed to court. However, the likelihood of conviction was not associated with the likelihood of proceeding to court, or the evidence quality of the briefs. Differences were found in both the ratings of proceeding to court and conviction, and the factors underpinning the ratings across the two professional groups. The implications of the findings for police organisations are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11896-015-9162-9
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
1602 Criminology
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30076917

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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