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Interviewing child witnesses under the Memorandum of Good Practice: a research review

The ‘Memorandum of Good Practice on Video Recorded Interviews with Child Witnesses for Criminal Proceedings’ was published in 1992 to provide guidance to police officers and social workers responsible for undertaking video-recorded interviews with child victims or witnesses. The document outlined core principles to be followed when conducting interviews; the video could then be played in court to spare the child the necessity of giving live examination-in-chief.

Since 1992, much literature and research has been generated around the Memorandum and around the issue of child witnesses in general. This report reviews this literature, drawing out the implications that this has for interviews conducted under Memorandum guidelines. It will therefore be of relevance for police officers, social workers and other agencies involved in investigations and interviews with children.

Graham M Davies
Helen Westcott
Policing and Reducing Crime Unit