Journal Article

Infant Death Investigations Following High-Profile Unsafe Rulings: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water?

James R. Vaughan and Paula M. Kautt

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 3, issue 1, pages 89-99
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pan083
Infant Death Investigations Following High-Profile Unsafe Rulings: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water?

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Home Office data show that approximately 300 infants die each year under unexplained circumstances in England and Wales. Research estimates that a significant number of cases officially recorded as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are likely homicides. Yet, in recent years, several infanticide convictions were overturned on appeal, resulting in public outcry over how caregivers were tried for infanticide in cases of unexplained sudden infant death. This exploratory research investigates whether these unsafe cases influenced practitioner availability and wider child protection issues. It provides circumstantial evidence suggesting that infant death investigations may have become more difficult to undertake because of practitioner reaction to the unsafe cases.

Journal Article.  5597 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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