D10.9 Best Practices on Victim support for LEA first responders v2


This deliverable builds on D10.8 and describes the best practices for victim support for LEA first responders. As this deliverable is still awaiting expert review from the European Commission this document is shared as a pre-final version of the deliverable which will be updated to the final version upon acceptance. 

Executive Summary

This document is presented by the GRACE project and it aims to detect and promote best practices that cater to the needs of the LEAs first responders in CSEA cases.

In its first part, the document encompasses the legal framework related to tackling CSEA (international legal standards on child protection), with exhaustive emphasis on victims’ rights in these cases. The latter includes also the great importance of the appropriate terminology in this crime area, which gives crucial instructions to first responders to provide dignified approach to victims.

The other part provides special attention to practical implications, when LEA first responders receive the information on CSA, especially in the presence of the victim. Since they could make great efforts to succeed in the case but they could also unknowingly compromise further investigation by special units and detectives, the two chapters were dedicated to biases, myths and stereotypes, and even the easy-to-use guidelines for them to avoid any problematic situation. Guidelines for first responders in CSEA cases are prepared to directly address their tasks and responsibilities, but they are easy to adapt in the national work processes and policies of competent national authorities.

The document also provides the overview of how the victims could react to their situation of abuse (the 5F’s of Trauma) and a flowchart for them to make proper decisions, before the specialised investigators would take over.

The idea behind this document is to provide significantly important insights to first responders in law enforcement organizations to access in one place the information on what they could or should do and what to avoid. This document can be understood as a basis, on the other hand it provides a unique insights in to annouced Guidelines for law enforcement first repsonders in child sexual exploitation and abuse cases.
Future is here, therefore two serious games for officers are also introduced for the future reference and training purposes.

Each of the LE authority can adapt this deliverable according to their own policies. However, they are encouraged to get in touch with experts at Europol that created the Guidelines, also with game developers at CENTRIC and training module at ECTEG. All these can serve as an improvment of the first responders performance when they get in touch with sexual abuse of children cases.