Policing and Historic Sex Offences

Since the Jimmy Saville saga, prosecutions for historical sexual offences are becoming more and more common. Here at Emery Johnson Astills we have become all too familiar with the investigative nature of policing for this type of offending.


In recent years a policy was introduced which allowed the police to believe the victims who made allegations from the outset, unless evidence was found to otherwise undermine their claims. This policy was welcomed by the Metropolitan Police and other forces around the Country after police made countless and serious errors in a series of cases involving sexual assault.

Investigations into popular and high profile individuals accused of such offences have been hit by brutal criticism due to the force’s investigations. As a result of this and the lack of public confidence held in the police, the policy that allows victims to be automatically believed could be dropped, as a result of a recent view conducted by Dame Elish Angiolini.  She questioned whether ordering officers to believe claimants was appropriate. This new stance is welcomed within the criminal team at Emery Johnson Astills, who know that it is important for objective investigations to be carried out.  Dame Angiolini goes on to say: “It is more appropriate for criminal justice practitioners to remain utterly professional at all times and to demonstrate respect, impartiality, empathy and to maintain an open mind.”

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner agreed with her assessment, adding: “This is a more neutral way to begin than saying we should believe victims, and I believe it better describes our impartial mindset.”

Emery Johnson Astills are experts in criminal law, and should you require advice or assistance from the criminal team you can contact us on 0116 255 4855. Assistance is provided 24 hours of the day whether at the police station or Court.