n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - The significance of the crime scene in the investigation of child rape cases

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



Child rape remains an emotive subject. Although in accordance with Circular 26/3/2 of 2007 investigating officers are obliged to visit crime scenes in instances of child rape, it has been alleged from within the ranks of the Family Violence and Child Protection Unit (FCS) and by external sources that such scenes are not being visited and searches are not being conducted. In order to highlight the significance of the crime scene in the investigation process, research was undertaken at the FCS unit at the West Rand during 2007. Data for this study was gathered through an extensive literature review, structured interviews and docket analysis. The most disconcerting finding emanating from the study was that the investigating officer visited the crime scene in a mere 11% of cases, and that at none of these scenes could evidence be found. It is strongly recommended that branch commanders encourage their investigating officers to ensure that scenes are visited and processed correctly and that they monitor compliance during the inspection of the case dockets.

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