Investigative interviewers enable children’s best evidence in legal proceedings
Triangle conducts investigative interviews with children and young people for both criminal and family proceedings. We have a specialist investigative interviewing team trained to interview within Achieving Best Evidence guidance. We often interview children and young people who have presented challenges to both police and social services; where there perhaps has not been sufficient skill or appropriate resources to interview these children safely and effectively.
We are particularly skilled with:
- very young children (aged two to six)
- very traumatised or disturbed children and young people
- children and young people presenting severely challenging behaviour
- children and young people with communication impairments (e.g. autism, learning disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, deafness, head injury, physical disability, augmentative and alternative communication users).
We are experienced in putting specific questions to children and young people on behalf of the family court. This is, in effect, pre-recorded cross examination and means that the child does not need to attend court to give evidence. Our approach to pre-recorded cross examination has been described by HHJ Cleary in a recent judgement as “entirely child focused and enormously helpful”.
We teach and publish widely on these issues, for example contributing the guidance within Achieving Best Evidence on interviewing young, disturbed and disabled children. We also train interviewers and provide expert opinion on children's testimony.
How does it work?
We have unique, child-friendly facilities that enable calm and effective communication, including a three camera interview suite placed within a large play/art space. This is located in Brighton. We are also able to conduct interviews at other venues nationally.
We have developed a range of practical resources to enable effective and accurate communication, for example the truth and lies app.
We always conduct a communication assessment with the child or young person in advance of the interview, to ensure that we have a clear understanding of the best way to question them, and to teach the essential ‘rules’ of interview (such as “no guessing”, “say if I get something wrong”).
Both the assessment and the interview can take place on the same day, if this is deemed to be appropriate.
If evidence is needed for criminal proceedings we accept instructions from police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service and defence solicitors.
If evidence is needed for family proceedings we accept joint or single party instructions on behalf of the court.
We have also been instructed by local authorities and by the High Court in specific circumstances.
Please get in touch if you have any further questions.