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Report No. 84

4.4. Proper examination-conditions for.-

It has been pointed out that the proper and thorough investigation of an alleged rape depends on:1

Early notification to the police;

Full co-operation between the victim and the various investigating agencies;

An experienced and understanding police officer in charge. Any delay in reporting an alleged rape will result in delay in the commencement of the investigation, with the loss of trace evidence on the victim, the accused and the scene. It is for these reasons that the victim must be interviewed at some length as soon after the offence has taken place as is possible, and before she has had a chance to wash, clean or repair her clothing, or change her clothing. The medical examination must be a complete one, and must include the complete medical history of the victim, a detailed history of the alleged assault, a complete body examination and the taking of all relevant biological samples.

1. British Academy of Forensic Sciences Memorandum on rape, (July 1976), Vol. 16, Medicine, Science and the Law, pp. 154, 156, 157.

Rape and Allied Offences - Some Questions of Substantive Law, Procedire and Evidence Back

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