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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Any person reporting historic sexual abuse to the police will be treated seriously. However, the only assurance that can be given is that the matter will be thoroughly investigated.

Beyond that no other predictions about the outcome of any case can ever be made and it is important that any person in such circumstances has realistic expectations. The passage of time, means that much of the evidence may have been lost, although corroboration of early reports, medical and social services records are examples of lines of enquiry that may be pursued. Once the suspect has been interviewed, the case papers will be assessed by the police and if there is sufficient evidence the case may be forwarded to the CPS who will have to look at:

  • the legality;
  • the public interest of mounting a prosecution;
  • the prospect of a conviction;

before deciding to take the matter forward. For further support please see the websites in related information. There is a link to the 'Help for Victims' website and a Youtube guide of the website.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.