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New Police Guidance to Improve Rape Investigations



My research with colleagues has developed new guidance to improve police responses to rape and sexual offending which is now part of the National Operating Model for the investigation of rape and serious sexual offences used by all police forces across England & Wales. This new police tool is featured as a case study in the Government’s latest Rape Review Progress Update


The research and guidance were developed as part of the UK Government funded Operation Soteria which brings together police, academics and civil society to help transform police investigations of rape and sexual offences. 


The new guidance is known as the Rape Victim Impact Assessment (RVIA) and will help police forces improve the service to victims by providing a clear process to support officers and staff to systematically review how police policies and procedures could impact victims. It is developed from similar processes such as Equality Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments which are now routine in many sectors. 


While the Rape Victim Impact Assessment was developed in the specific context of police investigations of rape, it has the potential to be applied across all areas of the criminal justice system. It provides a flexible, systematic tool to truly put victims – their rights and interests - at the heart of the criminal justice system.


The research was conducted by myself, together with Dr Kelly Johnson and Dr Ruth Friskney of Glasgow University. The policy briefing and Rape Victim Impact Assessment are now available. Our academic research giving greater detail and discussion will be published later in the year.


More information:

Read our Policy Briefing on the Rape Victim Impact Assessment.

The Rape Victim Impact Assessment and associated Summary and FAQ for police are now available.

Read the UK Government’s Rape Review Progress Update.

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