Keir Starmer says Rape investigations 'undermined by belief that false accusations are rife'

(145 Posts)
NormaStanleyFletcher Cote D'Ivoire Wed 13-Mar-13 06:47:25

This bit makes me a little worried

"Following completion of the CPS study, false allegation cases involving rape and domestic violence will no longer routinely be referred to the DPP. "These cases will now be handled by [CPS] areas rather than headquarters, but we will continue to have an assurance regime where reports are sent in every six months," Starmer said."

When they were all being referred to Keir's department I felt more comfortable; I don't know exactly why but I have trust in him.

This bit is very interesting I thought

Of 159 suspects linked to allegedly false claims referred to the CPS between January 2011 and May 2012, 92% were women. Nearly half of them were 21 or under. One surprise was that in 38% of those investigations, the initial complaint of rape or domestic violence was made by someone other than the suspect. Among those under 18 it was 50% and often involved a parent

teatrolley Wed 13-Mar-13 15:48:43

Of course media reporting has no influence on this widespread and deeply harnful misconception. The daily mail has a tiny article buried halfway down it's homepage. Funny how any instance of false accusation gets a massive space as the headline article.

Greythorne Wed 13-Mar-13 16:05:11

The BBC should be ashamed for perpetuating exactly what Starmer sets out to explain.

I feel sorry for Starmer, he seems like a genuinely good man and for his words to be repakaged like this must be unbelieveably frustrating.

ScrambledSmegs Netherlands Wed 13-Mar-13 16:06:08

Damn the BBC. It's a Newsbeat report too, so aimed at young people (ie teenagers etc). I suppose a version of that will be broadcast on Radio 1 etc.

So I made a complaint. Expect to get a response in about a months time, fobbing me off.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 13-Mar-13 16:14:00

I have a lot of respect for Keir Starmer.

Less so for the BBC now... and I have always spoken up supporting the bbc in principle - license fee etc.

SqueakyCleanNameChange Wed 13-Mar-13 16:22:36

Totally agree. Starmer came across very well in his MN webchat last year, and it's great to see him still being a good egg, but I'm hugely disappointed by the BBC.

mungotracy Wed 13-Mar-13 16:27:23

Its all a bit odd. Firstly thats actually quite a lot of false allegations any way you look at it. I think dismissing it is worrying...... you don't dismiss a crime because its not as common as other crimes...... especially when you are deliberately limiting the prosecutions... arguably one could potentially try all failed rape prosecutions on this basis.....we don't for good reason......... I find it very disturbing that over 80% of those found to have accused falsely have NO mental health problems indeed. Yes there needs to be better investigation of actual rape.....but there also needs to be equality and transparency if we want the issue sorted. We as women need to feel confident in coming forward however if we want men to support that they cannot be hung out to dry on mere rumour, which is the current state of affairs.

Any man accused of this crime has had sentence passed before he goes to court. Anyone who works in a school regardless of gender will be aware of how often younger children suggest that they will report a teacher did something inappropriate if they don't get their way. Precisely this happened on the Educating Essex documentary for those who don't believe press reports you can watch it happen. Fortunately the school had CCTV.....provig the lie and the teacher took no action.

It seems blatantly obvious that if you provide people with an ability to accuse someone publically but retain their own anonimity that the facility will be abused. Especially if the accusation causes immediate negative impact.

I think the very idea of making such a false accusation would be far more horrifying to the older generation than the younger. SO maybe it is not shocking that we see it more prevalently from the young. There needs to be education here on both sides...

However I suspect the false accussations that the DPP claims are rare would be severely curtailed if anonimity was provided to both sides as justice would demand.

The bit that especially pisses me off in the BBC report is this bit - the second line of their report! -

"It's the first time details for England and Wales have been compiled, showing how common the problem is."

Totally comes across as meaning "this is a common problem", when the whole thrust of the actual report is that this is NOT a common problem. And then it goes on to spend most of the article talking about that very small number of cases... I am tempted to complain too, as they are perpetuating the same myths the report set out to clear up.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 17:03:34

I have spent most of the day being fucking furious with the BBC.

How could they manage to describe 'rare' as 'common'? I'm not surprised they've got a cultural problem there to sort out of they put that kind of shit on the Newsround website.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 17:04:22

For years the CPS has said how good their works are for these victims and when people have questioned them they have defended their policies. Suddenly now it has changed. It seems a pity it took the celebrity Saville stuff to make them decide they should listen.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 17:07:43

Thank you all those who complained to the BBC. The word 'common' they had at the top of the story first thing this morning has been changed to 'unusual'.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 17:09:00

Squeaky - I didn't think he came across well at all.

Having said which I don't think it's him, he seems to try.

EldritchCleavage Wed 13-Mar-13 17:09:54

There are very good reasons why accused people have to be named, and I just don't see why those accused of sex crimes should be an exception to that. The exception for victims of sex crimes is a reflection of the cruel stigma they face.

Children aren't generally named at all now, whether as victims or witnesses in relation to any crime. Should all defendants in such cases get anonymity too, to even the score?

Justice is supposed to be public. We need to know who the accused are, not least because we might want to come forward as complainants or (defence) witnesses.

Having unnamed defendants is a rather frightening thought for me-it smacks of a police state, with people facing charges in secret. Beware going down that road.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 17:20:40

I've just put in a complaint to the BBC as well. For what it's worth. I hope Keir Starmer is suitably pissed off with them.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 17:22:30

LineRunner what do you mean?

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 17:24:19

Which bit, SirEdmund? I appear to be on a roll.

RatPants Wed 13-Mar-13 17:25:20

Glad someone else picked up on this; I read the BBC article this morning and thought it was the kind of slant which would do more harm than good.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 17:46:49

Line smile

I think they've been crap about how they've dealt with this. They are not asking questions that need asking.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 17:56:01

Both CPS and BBC, I mean.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 18:02:55

I think Keir Starmer and the CPS were trying to do the right thing (he's been grilled on MN twice now about these issues) but the report was very badly handled by the BBC.

Perhaps Keir Starmer will now feel just a tiny amount of the frustration with the mainstream media that we often feel.

Fillyjonk75 Wed 13-Mar-13 18:09:35

I even felt that on the Today programme this morning the stats were misrepresented. I was shouting "Put it in context" at the radio. I don't know what the motive would be for misrepresenting Starmer but I thought they were trying to make it come across as if the opposite were true.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 18:12:09

Maybe the mainsteam media can't actually believe and accept it's a rare occurrence, because they have so firmly bought into the myths and stereotypes. It simply does not compute.

Like a mass cognitive dissonance.

One of my friends was falsely accused, and he'd have been one of the first to have pointed out how rare it was and how much worse being raped would be! It's disgusting the way they've misrepresented this.

SirEdmundFrillary Wed 13-Mar-13 18:18:35

Maybe he will.

The CPS have been defending their policies for years. Now we're all supposedto roll on our backs and have our tummies scratched like nice little victims. Fuck that.

LineRunner Wed 13-Mar-13 18:21:01

I hope MNHQ will invite Keir Starmer on again so we can ask him about the report and its reception by the media, especially by the very troubled and troubling BBC.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 13-Mar-13 18:21:22

So, a google search for BBC Newsbeat brings this clickable link up:

devastating
Two people a month are being prosecuted for making false...

Clicking on it leads to this article: False Rape Claims "Devastating" say wrongly accused

I am honestly not sure when I have ever seen a more dubious slant on an story! The BBC are completely misrepresenting it. I'm furious about this.

How do I complain?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now