The Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior issued a guidebook outlining the standard operating procedures to be adopted when dealing with the elderly, children, people with special needs and women, in the evidence collection process performed by the police.

The guidebook aims to unify procedures and mechanisms applied in dealing with cases of abuse against any of these groups, “whether they are victims, accused or witnesses”, by allocating special interrogation rooms and qualified personnel to interview these groups during the evidence collection process in police stations. The personnel in question begin their mission by uncovering the crime and its perpetrators via search and investigation, and by collecting data and information from the crime scene. This would provide a set of unified standards and specifications and prevent any independent reasoning that may affect the course of investigations and the evidence collection process, or may cause abuse victims to experience severe psychological effects.

The guidebooks also aims to standardize the procedures and methods designed to handle such cases, given the sensitive relation between parties in “domestic violence” cases, and in most cases, when victims are reluctant to report the abuse. The guidebook is also designed to prevent discrepancies in the procedures adopted at police stations and reduce the extent of social and psychological effects on victims in need of assistance. It is also aimed at providing protection for the elderly, children, people with special needs and women against abuse perpetrated by relatives or strangers, in order to mend any related problems provide care for these groups and protect them against any deviant behaviors. This would be achieved through close cooperation with relevant governmental and civil society institutions, by receiving notifications and grievances about potential abuse against these groups in specific locations that are manned by trained and specialized personnel.

The Ministry of Interior is keen to see this guidebook become a clear reference for the required action to be adopted by people in charge of collecting evidence from the above-mentioned categories. The guidebook, which respects the human, constitutional, and legal values, underscores the commitment of the ministry to standardize the procedures and methods of dealing with the cases of violence and abuse that may face the elderly, the children, people with special needs and women.  It also grants legitimacy to the tasks undertaken by the Executive Authority, which requires police officers to take into account several considerations that are relevant to human rights and fundamental freedoms while carrying out their duties during the evidence collection process.

The guidebook contains information that highlight its importance in standardizing procedures designed to dealing with these different social groups. It also tackles the concept of evidence collection in law, the jurisdiction of judicial officers in the evidence collection process, the constitutional guarantees of the people involved at that particular stage, specifications of the interrogation rooms, the various stages of the interrogation process, the methods of dealing with these groups, the personal specifications and qualifications of people in charge of the interrogation rooms and the specifications and requirements for interrogation rooms. It also includes detailed plans and specifications of the evidence collection rooms.

The guidebook also provides detailed information about the keen interest of the UAE to provide care and protection for these groups through legal material promulgated by the Constitution, social legislation, laws and conventions signed by the UAE to provide legal guarantees and the rights of these groups.

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