What Happens in the Beginning, Matters in the End: Achieving Best Evidence with Child Suspects in the Police Station

Kate Gooch, Piers von Berg

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Abstract

During the last 30 years, the way in which children give evidence in the criminal justice system in England and Wales has been radically transformed. These reforms have, however, neglected child suspects in the police station. Recent piecemeal reforms to the statutory regime for children in police detention have overlooked a critical stage of the criminal justice process: the police interview. This article critically analyses the policy, practice and law surrounding police questioning of child suspects. It demonstrates that the absence of child-specific guidance when interviewing child suspects is not only out of step with wider reforms, but carries real risks regarding the effective communication and participation of child suspects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
JournalYouth Justice
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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