Police to research child abuse cases

The police aim to improve their investigation
of child abuse cases with the establishment of a new UK-wide
research team.

The unit has been set up at a time of
increasing disquiet over the way the police gather evidence in
child abuse cases with the Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs
about to launch a wide-ranging inquiry into the way such cases have
been handled in the past.

Terry Grange, chief constable of DyfedPowys
Police and spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police
Officers, has set up the research unit at the national crime
facility at Bramshill police college in Hampshire. He is also
compiling a guide for detectives who are working on child abuse

The aim of the research, says Grange, is to
eliminate some of the errors that have occurred in high profile
cases where the police have been accused of prompting witnesses
into making false allegations.

He added that some of the inquiries into abuse
at care homes could have made mistakes and some of those who have
been jailed could have been victims of miscarriages of justice.

Human rights organisation Liberty has slammed
suggestions from the lord chief justice Lord Woolf that persistent
sex offenders could be imprisoned before they have been convicted
of a crime in order to safeguard the public.

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