Achieving best evidence in criminal proceedings

Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures.

Applies to England and Wales



Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) was originally published in 2002, when it replaced and extended the scope of the guidance set out in the Memorandum of Good Practice for Video-Recorded Interviews with Child Witnesses (Home Office, 1992). The second edition of the guidance was published in 2007 and a third was published in 2011. This is the fourth edition of ABE.

It covers the interview process for child and adult victims and witnesses during a criminal investigation, the pre-trial preparation process and the support available to witnesses in court. The interview guidance set out in ABE includes video-recorded interviews with vulnerable and intimidated witnesses where the recording is intended to be played as evidence-in-chief in court. ABE promotes a strong victim-centred and trauma-informed approach throughout the guidance.

Published 31 January 2022
Last updated 21 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. Guidance document updated.

  2. First published.