Britain To Start Asking Assault Victims How The System Failed

Illustration for article titled Britain To Start Asking Assault Victims How The System Failed

Sean O'Neill and Fiona Hamilton report for The Times of London that an arm of the British government will undertake and investigation of why they have the lowest sexual assault conviction rate in Europe.

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There's plenty of reason to think that it has a lot to do with the police.

Two rape cases this year highlighted dismissive attitudes among police officers. John Worboys, a London taxi driver, was left free to attack hundreds of women because police officers did not believe victims' reports of being assaulted. One woman was told that black cab drivers "don't do that sort of thing". Only weeks after Worboys was jailed, Kirk Reid was convicted of 26 attacks, including two rapes. Reid had come to the police's attention 12 times before he was arrested and charged and is thought to have attacked more than 70 women.

That's probably the only time the police in a majority-white nation have ever told women that black, working-class men just "don't do that sort of thing."

Former police acknowledge that the attitude of law enforcement affects cases negatively:

Dave Gee, the former detective chief superintendent who heads the programme, said that Britain's low conviction rates were partly due to poor evidence gathering and "indifferent attitudes" towards rape by police. "Too often, because of the negative mind at the outset, the case is undermined rather than built up," he said.

The internal survey of why and how rape victims feel the system failed them will be augmented with an external system as well.

In another joint initiative by the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers, a group known as the rape support programme will begin touring the country this month advising police forces on how to implement the latest guidance on rape investigations.

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You know, like not telling women they're making it up. How hard is that, anyway?

Rape Audit To Find Out Why So Few Win Justice [The Times]

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DISCUSSION

jessicalovejoy--laughing--rid-old
JessicaLovejoy: Laughing, riding, cornholing!

I believe black is the color of the cab, not the rapist.