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Derbyshire Constabulary POLICY FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF RAPE AND Powered By Docstoc
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                    Derbyshire Constabulary


                    POLICY REFERENCE MIB

           This policy is suitable for Public Disclosure

Owner of Doc:       Head of Department, Crime Support.

Date Approved:      04 September 2003.

Review Date:        September, 2005.

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Header                                                         Page Number

Introduction                                                        3
Aim                                                                 3
Purpose                                                             3
Definition of Rape and Serious Sexual Offences                      3
Immediate Victim Care                                               3
Initial Police Response                                             4
Action at Scene                                                     4
Role of Investigating Officer                                       5
Lines of Enquiry                                                    6
Crime Recording                                                     6
Role of Senior Investigating Officer                                7
First Review                                                        7
Second Review                                                       7
Third Review                                                        8
Sexual Offence Liaison Officer                                      8
Medical Examination                                                 8
Vulnerable Witness                                                  9
Forensic Evidence                                                   9
Drug Assisted Rape                                                 10
Crown Prosecution Service                                          11
Victim Care                                                        11
Media                                                              11
Training                                                           12
Policy Monitoring                                                  12
Certificate of Compliance                                          12

Appendix A - Form 754 Early Evidence Samples                       13

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                        SERIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULTS

1.    Introduction

1.1   An allegation of rape is one of the most serious major crimes investigated and the
      trauma which victims experience presents the Police Service with unique challenges.

1.2   The Derbyshire Police Service has made continuous efforts to improve victim care in
      rape investigations and this policy brings together lessons learned in a single

1.3   It is now incumbent on all staff to ensure that the standards set in this policy are
      complied with so that we can be confident that we are delivering the highest possible
      service to victims of rape and other serious sexual assaults.

1.4   This policy builds on Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) thematic
      inspection on the investigation of rape (April 2002).

2.    Aim

2.1   To improve the quality of investigations and enhance victim care.

3.    Purpose

3.1   To provide clear guidelines to all personnel who come into contact with victims of
      serious sexual offences or are involved in the investigation of such cases.

4.    Definition of Rape and Serious Sexual Offences

4.1   Serious sexual offences are defined as:-

      •   rape, buggery, indecent assault involving oral sex, penetration, the use of
          instruments or the exercise of violence and other circumstances deemed to be
          especially serious by an Investigating Officer, together with any attempts to
          commit such offences.

5.    Immediate Victim Care

5.1   On receipt of a complaint of an offence of rape or serious sexual assault, the
      following action will be undertaken:-

      •   if a complaint is received from a victim via a telephone call, contact will be
          maintained with the complainant until the arrival of a police officer, or until it is
          ascertained that they are in a safe environment.

      •   if the report is made personally at Police premises, the victim should be
          immediately taken out of the public arena and into a private room and given

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          •   in cases of historical rape, details will be obtained and arrangements made with
              the victim that day to enable full disclosure.

          •   the victim of any such assault should be treated with sensitivity, regardless of
              age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

          •   if the victim requires immediate medical treatment, they should be accompanied
              to the nearest hospital.

          •   the victim should be advised not to wash, go to the toilet, eat, drink or smoke until
              the first officer attending has had the opportunity of obtaining initial forensic
              evidence by use of an early evidence kit, see Force Form number 754 as at
              appendix ‘A’.

6.        Initial Police Response

6.1       Once basic facts have been established, the following personnel must be contacted

          •   Incident Control Room Supervisor.

          •   Detective Inspector with responsibility for that territorial area,

              or in their absence, the

          •   Duty Detective Inspector.

6.2       The following principles must be adhered to during the initial response by the officers
          notified above:-

      •   preservation of the scene(s).

      •   the securing and preservation of forensic evidence.

      •   identification of potential witnesses.

      •   identification of the suspect.

      •   allocation of a trained Sexual Offence Liaison Officer to immediately attend to the

      •   allocation of a Detective Sergeant to commence the investigation.

      •   to minimise contamination by ensuring that the victim and suspect are dealt with by
          different officers, transported in different vehicles and examined at different locations
          by different Police Surgeons.

7.        Action at Scene

7.1       All scenes should be identified, secured and protected. The Detective Inspector is
          available to advise on the type and extent of scene protection. A Major Incident
          Scene log will be commenced by the first officers in attendance at each and every
          relevant scene identified. The Section Supervisor will take responsibility for ensuring

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          that the scene remains secure and sterile until released by the Senior Investigating

7.2       All scenes will be forensically examined by a Scientific Support Officer.

8.        Role of Investigating Officer

8.1       Responsibilities

8.2       The Investigating Officer in all cases of rape and serious sexual assault must hold
          the rank of Detective Sergeant. They will be responsible for ensuring the following:-

      •   the victim is safe and treated in a sensitive and professional manner and a Sexual
          Offence Liaison Officer is utilised.

      •   that the victim is examined by a Police Surgeon at a designated Victim Examination
          Suite and the relevant forensic samples obtained. The aim being to recover evidence
          to support the fact that a sexual assault has taken place without consent. The Sexual
          Offence Liaison Officer must accompany the victim when this examination takes
          place and is responsible for the recovery of exhibits relevant to the examination.

      •   clothing from the victim is quickly seized to maximise all forensic opportunities. On
          occasions, this can take place after the Police Surgeon has met the victim, but
          should only be delayed for this purpose if there is no likelihood of losing potential
          evidence. The seizure of victims clothing should be done in a sensitive and dignified
          manner, with replacement clothing being made readily available.

      •   a comprehensive statement of evidence is obtained from the victim by a suitably
          trained officer. This may take the form of a video interview in accordance with
          guidelines for Vulnerable Adult, Child Protection and 'Special Measure' procedures.

      •   the victim is referred with their consent to the relevant medical and victim support
          agencies after the initial evidence gathering stage.

      •   at all times the victim is kept fully updated as to the progress of the investigation.

      •   clothing from the arrested suspect(s) is quickly seized to maximise all forensic
          opportunities. This will be undertaken by officers who have not been to the scene or
          have had any contact with the victim to avoid contamination of evidence. The seizure
          of suspects clothing should be done in a sensitive and dignified manner, with
          replacement clothing being made readily available.

      •   intimate samples are taken from the suspect on arrest, even if citing consent, in
          accordance with the appropriate PACE authorities.

      •   the suspect is interviewed by appropriately trained Detective Officers.

      •   the completion of a crime report in accordance with national crime recording

      •   all cases involving a person under the age of 18 years are notified to the Child and
          Domestic Abuse Unit who will ensure a referral is made to Social Services.

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8.3       Cases involving familial abuse should be referred to the Duty Child and Domestic
          Abuse Unit Detective Sergeant who will assume primacy over the investigation,
          which will be conducted in accordance with Area Child Protection Procedures.

9.        Lines of Enquiry

9.1       The Investigating Officer will ensure that all lines of enquiry are conducted
          expeditiously in an effort to detect the offence and bring the offender to justice. The
          following lines of enquiry should be considered in all offences:-

      •   identification of early complaint and potential witnesses.

      •   search of all scene(s).

      •   recovery of forensic evidence.

      •   early submission of items to the Forensic Science Services following consultation
          with the Scientific Support Manager.

      •   house to house enquiries.

      •   CCTV.

      •   media appeal.

      •   intelligence checks re victim, suspect and similar offences.

9.2       The Investigating Officer will ensure that a current situation report is completed in
          respect of every undetected case. The completion of such a report is paramount
          when the offence remains unsolved, as there is always the possibility that the case
          will be reviewed and subsequently re-investigated. It also ensures that all relevant
          aspects of an investigation and documentary evidence are retained for future
          reference, being available for such scrutiny by the reviewing Detective Chief
          Inspector or Superintendent.

10.       Crime Recording

10.1      Under the National Crime Recording Standard a report of a crime by a victim or a
          person reasonably assumed to be acting on behalf of the victim will be sufficient to
          justify its recording and retention as a crime on the Crime Information System (CIS).
          The only exception to this rule is where there is credible evidence to the contrary to
          disprove the crime had occurred.

10.2      A crime must always be recorded and kept as a valid crime where : -

      •   The victim confirms a crime has occurred, but declines to support a police
          investigation or prosecution.


      •   After an initial complaint is received the victim refuses to confirm the crime has
          occurred or later makes a withdrawal and in both circumstances there is supporting
          evidence to indicate on the balance of probabilities a crime did in fact occur.

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10.3      An allegation can only be classified as no crime in circumstances where the victim
          admits the offence did not take place and there is no credible evidence to the
          contrary. A statement or pocket book entry must be obtained from a victim who
          wishes to withdraw a complaint. This statement or pocket book entry must outline
          the reasons for withdrawal.

10.4      When considering disposal by means of detection in accordance with Administration
          Detection of the N.C.R.S rules, there must be sufficient evidence to pass the C.P.S
          evidential test.

11.       Role of Senior Investigating Officer

11.1      A Detective Inspector will perform the role of Senior Investigating Officer and
          maintain an overview of all offences of rape and serious sexual assault. They will be
          responsible for ensuring that the enquiry is adequately resourced and is being
          treated as a priority investigation.

11.2      The SIO will also be responsible for maintaining a 'Policy Log' detailing all
          decisions, strategies and reviews made in connection with the investigation.

12.       First Review

12.1      The SIO should conduct a review of the investigation within 24 hours or as soon as
          practicable after the offence has been reported. This should be documented in the
          ‘Policy Log’.

12.2      The points to be covered are as follows:-

      •   victim care.

      •   scene examination and searches.

      •   recovery of evidence and initial forensic strategy.

      •   arrest/process of any suspect.

      •   priority lines of enquiry.

      •   identification of witnesses.

      •   use of media.

      •   community impact.

      •   resource requirements

13.       Second Review

13.1      The SIO will be responsible for conducting a second review of the investigation after
          a seven day period has elapsed. This will include a more detailed examination of the
          following points:-

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      •   initial victim and ongoing care.

      •   arrest and process of any suspects.

      •   forensic strategy and submissions.

      •   ongoing lines of enquiry.

      •   strategic direction of investigation.

      •   intelligence strategy.

      •   use of media.

      •   resource levels.

14.       Third Review

14.1      If the offence remains unresolved after a 28-day period, the SIO in conjunction with
          an appropriate Detective Chief Inspector will conduct an independent final review of
          the case before consideration is given to it being filed.

15.       Sexual Offence Liaison Officer

15.1      A Sexual Offence Liaison Officer who has received the necessary training will be
          used in all reported cases of rape and serious sexual assault. This will also include
          reports of historical offences.

15.2      Their role is to receive the victim and perform the role of seizing exhibits during the
          medical examination. To obtain a first account in the form of trigger notes, which will
          be exhibited and take a detailed statement or video disclosure. These items will be
          handed to the Investigating Officer along with any other material subject of disclosure

15.3      The Sexual Offence Liaison Officer will complete a S.O.L.O Investigation Log in each
          case, which incorporates all contact with the victim and crucial evidential guidelines.

15.4      It is good practice to use Sexual Offence Liaison Officers of the same sex as the
          victim, but the view and choice of the victim must be considered in all cases.

16.       Medical Examination

16.1      All victims of rape and serious sexual assault will be medically examined, with
          consent, by a Police Surgeon to obtain best evidence. Every effort will be made to
          meet the wishes of the victim in respect of the gender of the medical examiner.

16.2      In cases involving a child below the age of 18 years, a joint medical examination will
          be conducted by the Police Surgeon and Community Paediatrician. This will be
          undertaken at a Victim Examination Suite or designated Hospital.

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16.3   Officers are reminded that a medical examination is not purely to obtain forensic
       samples. It should also include an external examination of both victim and suspect to
       determine evidence in support that a sexual assault has taken place without consent.

17.    Vulnerable Witness

17.1   A vulnerable witness is one who is under 18 years of age or has some type of mental
       disorder as defined by the Mental Health 1983. Alternatively, has a significant
       impairment of intelligence/social functioning or physical disability/disorder. These
       victims or witnesses are eligible for 'Special Measures' in accordance with Part II of
       the Youth Justice and Criminal Act 1999. Officers must obtain evidence in support of
       the witnesses’ vulnerability.

17.2   All victims of sexual assaults are to be classed as an 'intimidated witness' due to the
       traumatic nature of the offence. The Investigating Officer should therefore involve the
       victim in determining whether 'Special Measures' are utilised i.e. ability to give
       evidence in court, use of screens etc. at the outset of the investigation. An
       intimidated witness qualifies for 'Special Measures' by reason that the quality of their
       evidence is likely to be diminished by reason of fear or distress. However, they are
       not eligible at this time to give 'evidence in chief' by video.

17.3   Officers should be aware that although Special Measures can be applied for at Court
       prior to trial, they are not guaranteed and should not be promised to the witness.

18.    Forensic Evidence

18.1   A Scientific Support Officer will examine all scenes of rape and serious sexual
       offences, where it is believed that there is a possibility of recovering material

18.2   Senior Scientific Support Officers are available to offer advice re scene preservation,
       storage and submission of exhibits.

18.3   In addition, a Forensic Science Specialist Advisor can be contacted via the Force
       Control Room, who can assist in giving immediate advice on scene interpretation,
       recovery of best evidence, latest forensic techniques, together with the correct way to
       package and store exhibits. The Specialist Advisor is available on a 24-hour call out
       rota and if necessary, can be called upon to attend the scene by the Senior
       Investigating Officer. It is of utmost importance that the Investigating Officers and
       Police Surgeons liase with either the Senior Scientific Support Officer or Forensic
       Science Specialist Advisors to ensure the recovery of best evidence in all rape

18.4   The SIO, together with the Senior Scientific Support Manager or appointed deputy,
       will formulate the forensic strategy and prioritise submissions to the Forensic Science
       Services in all cases.

18.5   In the event of multiple geographic crime scenes, the SIO in conjunction with the
       Senior Scientific Support Manager, will consider the appointment of Crime Scene
       managers and a Crime Scene Co-ordinator.

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19.       Drug Assisted Rape

19.1      If a victim has been given a 'drug rape' substance, it is possible that they will be in a
          state of confusion or have little recollection as to what has happened to them.
          Persons who present themselves in this way should be treated in exactly the same
          way as any other rape victim. It is particularly important to use an early evidence kit
          to obtain a urine sample, as drugs are detectable in urine for longer periods than in
          blood. However, it is still important to take a blood sample, as this allows for the
          possibility of determining the dose given. Some types of drug are detectable up to 72
          hours after being administered, therefore samples should always be taken as soon
          as possible, irrespective of time lapse, as a means of helping to prove or disprove the

19.2      Persistence levels within the body is as follows:-

          •   Alcohol can be detected in urine up to a 24-hour period.

          •   Class A , B, C Drugs - 12 to 24 hours in blood.

          •   Class A, B, C Drugs - 48 hours in urine.

          •   Rohypnol - 18 hours in blood.

          •   Rohypnol - 72 hours in urine.

          •   Gamma Hydrox Butyrate - 4 hours in blood.

          •   Gamma Hydrox Butyrate - 6 to 12 hours in urine.

19.3      The type of drugs known to be used in drug-assisted rape are as follows:-

      •   Rohypnol - this is manufactured in the form of a white or blue/green tablet and bears
          the mark of a hexagon.

      •   Gamma Hydrox Butyrate - this can be home made, it is a colourless, odourless liquid
          that appears thicker than water. It may also be available as a tablet or white powder.

      •   Zimovane – a white or blue sleeping tablet bearing the mark ZM or Z.

      •   Ketamine – a sedative used by veterinarians which is available as a white powder or
          clear liquid.

19.4      The above list is by no means exhaustive.

19.5      Officers should take steps to recover drinking utensils used by the victim, or any
          other paraphernalia that might have been used to administer the drug, in all
          suspected or alleged drug assisted rapes.

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20.       Crown Prosecution Service

20.1      It is good practice for the Investigating Officer to seek early involvement of a trained
          Sexual Offences Senior Crown Prosecutor who can verbally advise on law and
          procedural matters. They will only review evidence in a written file format. This liaison
          can improve quality, admissibility of evidence and could produce new lines of
          enquiries, which may ultimately lessen the possibility of discontinuance.

21.       Victim Care

21.1      All victims of rape and serious sexual assault should receive the highest standard of
          care and support at the beginning, during and completion of the investigation.

21.2      The Investigating Officer will, therefore, ensure that the following action is taken in
          respect of all victims:-

      •   discuss with victims the issue of special measures that can be applied for at a
          Special Measures Hearing.

      •   undertake a risk assessment of the safety of the victim and take measures to prevent
          a repeat attack. This is extremely prevalent if the victim knows or is in a relationship
          with the offender.

      •   inform the victim about the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

      •   refer the victim to the Crown Court Witness Service, to ensure the victim visits a
          Court for familiarisation purposes and is accompanied when attending Court
          proceedings, if the victim so wishes.

      •   obtain a full impact statement from the victim or a relative at the appropriate time,
          usually after conviction and before sentence.

      •   arrange a meeting between Counsel and the victim to improve the victim's
          confidence in giving evidence and inform them of the Court process.

      •   keep the victim fully updated as to the progress of the investigation.

      •   consideration is given to appointing a Family Liaison Officer when ongoing support is
          required over a protracted period.

22.       Media

22.1      The Senior Investigating Officer will have responsibility for media strategy and the
          issue of media statements. Corporate Communications (Media Relations) will
          provide advice and guidance to the SIO in respect of all media issues.

22.2      Officers are reminded of Section 4 of the Sexual Offences (Amendments) Act 1976,
          as amended by Section 158 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, once an allegation of
          rape has been made, details of the identity and address of the victim should not be
          disclosed to the media.

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23.    Training

23.1   Officers are not eligible to become a Sexual Offence Liaison Officer until they have
       successfully completed both their probationary period and the Sexual Offence
       Liaison Officers Training Programme.

23.2   It is the responsibility of the Divisional Commander to ensure that there are sufficient
       trained Sexual Offence Liaison Officers to meet the needs of the Division.

24.    Policy Monitoring

24.1   The territorial and Crime Support (Operations) Detective Chief Inspectors will be
       responsible for ensuring that all investigations into offences of rape and serious
       sexual assault are of a quality standard and comply with the above policy. They will
       dip test 25% of all reported cases on a pro rata basis to ensure full compliance. All
       undetected offences to be reviewed as a matter of policy.

25.    Certificate of Compliance

25.1   This document was audited in September 2003 by Policy and Strategic Planning
       Department within the guidelines of the Human Rights Act 1998. The audit was
       carried out on the assumption that the guiding legislation is itself compliant with the
       Human Rights Act 1998.

25.2   Where there are areas of potential interference with individual's rights under the Act,
       due regard has been given to the issues of legality, legitimate aim, proportionality
       and fairness.

25.3   Subject to any new legislation or changes in case law, which require immediate
       amendment, this document next requires reviewing in September 2005 by the Head
       of Department Crime Support.

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Form 754                                                                                        Appendix A
(New 6/03)

                                             EARLY EVIDENCE SAMPLES

                                                       CONSENT FORM

I ……………………………………… hereby consent to providing the following samples:-

1.        urine*
2.        mouth swab*

          * delete as appropriate

I understand that the samples will be submitted by the police for forensic examination, to
help discover evidence of a criminal offence. I am aware that the urine sample will be
checked for drugs and alcohol, and that the mouth swab will be tested for the presence of

Signature ...............................................................

Witness signature ..................................................
(Appropriate adult if applicable)

Date and time ........................................................

Time samples taken:-

1. Urine ...................................................................   Exhibit Ref No ....................................

2. Mouth swab ........................................................         Exhibit Ref No ....................................

Officer packaging samples .......................................................................

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                               USE OF EARLY EVIDENCE KITS

•   Check that the equipment is within its expiry date

•   If the complainant wishes to urinate, provide the urine collection vessel for the urine to be
    collected in.

•   Wear protective gloves and decant the urine into the preserved screw cap urine bottle, to
    the marked line.

•   Place the preservative powder into the urine, ensure that the screw top is replaced
    securely. Complete the label and stick to side of bottle, shake the bottle gently to
    dissolve the preservative. Place the bottle into the grey container.

•   Place the container into the tamper evident bag and seal, place the sample in a
    FRIDGE as soon as possible (DO NOT FREEZE).

•   Complete the labels on the side of the tube(s), swab the inside of the mouth, using the
    mouth swab, like a toothbrush, covering the lips, teeth, tongue and gums.

•   Place tube(s) in a tamper evident bag and seal.

•   Place the sample in a FREEZER as soon as possible.

•   Ensure that exhibit labels are signed prior to storage.


•   tamper evident bags

•   pair of gloves

•   face mask

•   urine collection kit

•   two swabs

•   Biohazard labels

•   Health and Safety issues

•   Consent Form

•   Guidelines for using Early Evidence Kits.

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