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Identify ways to ensure that evidence of abuse is preserved

In the previous section, we explored what you should do if you have concerns that an individual has been abused or if you receive an allegation or disclosure of abuse.

In situations where abuse has taken place, you should do what you can to preserve any potential evidence (providing that this will not put yourself or others at risk). This will support any allegations made, aid the impending investigation and assist the judiciary system

The crime scene should ideally remain untouched. If possible, you should secure the room to prevent anyone from entering it. You could suggest the individual move to another room until the police arrive. Damaged items should not be cleaned up.

In cases of sexual abuse, underwear and bedding should not be washed and the individual should be advised to not bathe or shower. If you must handle evidence, it should be performed using plastic gloves, where possible.

In cases of neglect, living conditions may be photographed.

Evidence of financial abuse such as bank statements or credit cards should be secured until they can be passed to the police. Again, if they must be handled, plastic gloves should be worn or limited contact should be used (e.g. held by the thumb and index finger in the corner). This will help to preserve fingerprints.

Previous records of suspicions and allegations may also be used in evidence – this is why it is important to document any concerns that you have.

Accompanying Video

Video transcript


My name is Daniel Dutton and I run the website dsdweb.co.uk which provides free help, guidance and support for people that are studying for care qualifications.

In this video, we will be exploring ways to ensure that evidence of abuse is preserved. This is an assessment criterion for the Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas in Adult Care.

But before I continue, I’d be very grateful if you could click on the thumbs-up button to Like this video and subscribe to my channel. This helps the video to be more visible on Youtube so that it can be easily found by other students.

It is important to know how to preserve evidence of abuse because it can be used to support any claims being made and aid criminal proceedings, which can keep the individual and others protected and ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.

This slide shows some of the ways that evidence may be preserved. Although preservation of evidence is important, it should only be performed it is safe for you to do so.

* Crime scenes should remain untouched. This means restricting access if possible, for example, by locking the door to the room and not moving anything, which includes cleaning up.
* In cases of sexual abuse, an individual’s bedding and clothing may be used as evidence because they may have traces of bodily fluids that can be matched to the perpetrator. Similarly, the individual should be encouraged not to wash or bathe.
* If items must be handled, you should wear gloves, where possible to reduce the likelihood of contamination
* Photographs may be used as evidence. This can include pictures of a crime scene, living conditions and an individual’s injuries
* Records should be copied and made available to the investigation team. This could be bank statements cases of financial abuse or copies of policies for cases of institutional abuse.
* Similarly, previous concerns and suspicions should always be recorded as they may be used in evidence in the future

Thank you for watching and I hope you’ve found this video useful.

Further information about this topic can be found in the link in the description.

If you require any additional help or want to send feedback about this video, please feel free to use the comments section below or visit my website dsdweb.co.uk.

And, if you’ve not already done so, please click the Like and Subscribe buttons below.

Bye for now.

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