Tiptoes Child Therapy Services

"I never realized that a child is capable of remembering so well and of waiting so patiently."

Janusz Korczak

ABE Interviews

Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) is guidance that ‘describes good practice in interviewing vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, both adults and children, in order to enable them to give their best evidence in criminal proceedings.’ ‘This document replaces the 1992 memorandum of good practice on video recorded interviews for child witnesses in criminal proceedings’ (HO).

ABE interviewers are police officers or social workers who have gone through the rigorous Joint Agency Child Abuse Investigation training where they have learnt, practiced and been assessed on their use of the appropriate interview techniques in accordance with Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings.

The interviews take place within specialist facilities that are equipped with digital recording equipment and neutral environments. They are usually housed in police owned but unmarked facilities, but can be in other settings like SARCS or NSPCC establishments.

The cognitive interview technique used is generally broken down into 5 phases and the interview lasts for around an hour. The key issue in relation to the duration of the interview is dependent on the child's concentration, fatigue and ability to share the evidence available to them.

We are trained in the use of and have experience of undertaking ABE interviews with young children and also children and young people with developmental delay.