Evaluation of a Database for Tracking Cases of Child Sexual Abuse

Cate Bailey, Martine Powell, Gennady N. Baksheev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Administrative databases are used by criminal justice professionals to guide specialist responses to crimes of child sexual abuse. Assumptions might be made that the database will be accurate, contemporaneous, complete, and meaningful; however, this may not be the case. The main aim of the current study was to critically evaluate a database used by practitioners for tracking cases of child sexual abuse, in order to identify evidence that may justify investment in improved data gathering and centralised information management systems. Three data quality dimensions were examined: (1) completeness, measured as data that were not missing and were of adequate breadth and depth, (2) accuracy, namely that the data are correct, and (3) believability, where the data may be regarded as credible or plausible. Results indicated that data quality was of concern for all three dimensions, with missing and inaccurate data found across a range of variables, and issues with believability found on two variables. The implications of these results for development of new data documentation methods are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-957
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology & Law
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • administrative databases
  • case tracking
  • child sexual abuse
  • data quality
  • evaluation
  • information management
  • police

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