Stemming the flow: challenges for policing adult sexual assault with regard to attrition rates and under-reporting of sexual offences 

Author(s)Taylor, S. Caroline and Leigh Gassner
Title Stemming the flow: challenges for policing adult sexual assault with regard to attrition rates and under-reporting of sexual offences
Source Police Practice and Research: An International Journal; June2010; Vol.11; issue 3; pp 240-255
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary This article examines sexual assault victims' lack of confidence in reporting to police, The role of police as 'gatekeepers' to the criminal justice system is discussed and whether their role may be positive for the victims or pejorative. Police decision making is explored and a number of subjective factors affecting police decisions to proceed with an investigation are identified in relation to the victim's perceived credibility, such as how promptly the report was made. In 2001 the Victorian Law Reform Commission conducted an inquiry into the criminal justice system's response to victims of sexual assault in Victoria, Australia, and in the subsequent report produced 34 recommendations that were primarily concerned with the improvement of police responses. The importance of evidence-based policing models is also discussed and the authors suggest that more detailed, robust research is needed; research applying qualitative methodologies to complement and critique existing research that has relied heavily on statistical data.
Keywords Sexual assault; reporting police; police response; qualitative research; criminal justice system
Topic

Criminal justice system