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Abuse Victims Should Be Believed, Says College of Policing

Researching Reform

Weighing in on the recent row over how police chose to treat allegations of child abuse (the controversial policy advised detectives to automatically believe people who alleged they had been raped or sexually abused but was later dropped) is the College of Policing’s chief executive, Alex Marshall, who has said this week that abuse victims should be believed in order to encourage victims to come forward.

This policy creates an awkward paradox. If the police are to believe that all allegations are true, then the UK’s current presumption of innocence rule (which tells us that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty) could be perceived to be under threat. In contrast, the persisting view that those who allege abuse are narcissistic fantasists and make up the majority of those bringing allegations, is also unhelpful and not based in any concrete data.

There is no doubt, however, that more should…

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