Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Children Aren't Taken Seriously over Claims

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Children Aren't Taken Seriously over Claims

Article excerpt

Byline: Hayden Smith Reporter jnl.news@ncjmedia.co.uk

CHILDREN are not being taken seriously when they report violent and sexual crimes, the government's victims tsar has warned.

Criminal justice agencies are at risk of failing youngsters who feel they are being let down by the system that is meant to protect them, according to Baroness Newlove.

The Victims' Commissioner will publish a review on Wednesday which found children and teenagers were made to feel like criminals themselves, accused of wasting police time or simply not believed.

Citing previous inquiries into the Rotherham and Jimmy Savile abuse scandals, the report says: "It seems that lessons are still not being learned about believing young victims when they come forward and taking them seriously."

Females aged between nine and 17, or their parents, were interviewed about the handling of reports of sexual or violent crimes.

Many of the 12 children and their families did not feel they were treated with "dignity and respect", with some feeling they were not believed nor taken seriously because of their age, the report found.

Girls described feeling as if they had to "prove themselves", with one reporting that she felt like "a test subject - a monkey in a cage to be prodded".

Many of the youngsters who took part in the review felt they were not believed by police, social workers, teachers or by society as a whole and would be reluctant to report a crime if anything happened to them in the future.

Participants were also frustrated at a lack of information about the progress of their case, and on the whole they did not receive or were not informed about all of their entitlements under the Victims' Code.

In one rape case, a teenage girl was interviewed by male officers on three separate occasions despite asking for a woman officer each time, according to the report.

These Baroness Newlove's aid: "These children and young victims feel let down by the system that is meant to protect them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.