Conviction Rates Improved by Children

Out of 140 trials last year in Devon which relied on evidence from children - nearly 80% resulted in a guilty verdict.

Heart revealed last week that our county is one of the few with specialist support for 4 - 18 year old witnesses.

Sarah Allum who manages the NSPCC service says most are child sex abuse cases and there are still about 60 trials to come: "two thirds of the young people were girls and a third were boys and quite a number of those cases are still waiting to go to court because these trials take a long time. These kids are kept waiting over a year sometimes"

She says having the right support can be crucial: "where children can be properly prepared and supported and give evidence via a remote video link system which reduces their anxiety, the likelyhood of a guilty plea or conviction is much much higher"

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