Research AimsSection 28 represents the final special measure designed to improve the victim experience and outcomes in trials with child victims or witnesses. This allows for the pre-recording of cross-examination away from the court room, prior to the trial. Following the success of its pilot scheme in Crown Courts in Kingston, Liverpool and Leeds in 2014, Section 28 was rolled out in all Crown Courts by November of 2020. Using the initial pilot evaluation document as a reference, the researcher will be conducting interviews with practitioners and professionals in the criminal justice system in Hampshire to gauge their experiences of the implementation of Section 28.
The researcher will be engaging with those who have important experience implementing pre-recorded cross-examination and interviewing them to find out their views. The sample size will comprise a relatively small number of participants, concentrated within the criminal justice system in Hampshire. These semi-structured interviews will seek to understand how well they believe the process to be working, what it means for child victims and witnesses and what could be improved to ensure better outcomes in the future. The data from these interviews will be subject to thematic analysis in order to draw out the common viewpoints and outlying opinions. Analysis will also be informed using data from the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner in Hampshire via their data platform InterAct.