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To wonder if I am allowed to post about matters to do with the police here?

(32 Posts)
Shinyredb1ke Wed 03-Jun-15 10:24:22

Aibu to ask some advice about something regarding the police and a case I have pending? I have no idea if I am allowed to talk about it here. Does anyone know?

I know there are other sections of the site but this bit seems to have the most traffic, would I be breaking any kind of rule? I haven't been told not to talk about it but I'm scared to do or say anything that might hurt my case.

Alambil Wed 03-Jun-15 10:27:49

I wouldn't, personally. It doesn't take much to jeopardise a case... if you need to offload, the Samartians would lend a listening ear smile

blue42 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:30:32

In addition, if you do ask here, you've got no way of verifying that the advice or opinion you're getting has any factual or legal basis. Good luck with it, anyway.

AyeAmarok Wed 03-Jun-15 10:32:21

People might be able to advise on general process or procedure, but don't post specifics of your case in case it prejudices it.

DoraGora Wed 03-Jun-15 10:39:59

I think, as pp has said, it's reasonable to ask a very general question. You seem, understandably worried, and this forum is a decent place to discuss things that might help you to worry less. But, for legal specifics, not so much, I'd guess. There is no shortage of legal information available on the web, though.

MsJudgyPants Wed 03-Jun-15 10:42:08

People post about legal matters all the time, so why would you NOT be able to? Just keep the identifying details to a minimum.

springsprang Wed 03-Jun-15 10:46:11

As long as you don't post too much identifying information and/or things very specific to the case ask away. But bear in mind it's just full of random people's feeling on the subject at that moment in time.

Shinyredb1ke Wed 03-Jun-15 10:55:32

Apologies if I might seem like I'm overreacting. It is regarding a rape that I reported in 2014.

Case has been taking a long time but is finally going to the crown prosecution bit this month to decide whether or not to formally charge/prosecute him.

Police called me to check some details, police woman seemed quite annoyed, started asking me if I've ever used a different birth date and telling me I needed to tell the truth because it would all come out in court if not. She was not shouting or anything but was quite aggressive in her tone and at this point I was totally confused because I have never used a different birth date for anything (why would I?).

She then started asking if I've ever had any dealings with the police before and asking me details about relationships I've had in the past. She also got really annoyed at me for not telling her that I've had dealings with SS in the past. At this point I started to cry because I was really upset, I said I had no idea that any of this was relevant to my rape case and that I wasn't trying to hide anything, I have been completely honest about everything I've been asked about.

She told me the reason for questioning my birth date is that several 'government agencies' (eg; council) had a completely different birth date for me and that they can't all be wrong (basically calling me a liar). I understand this is her job and she is keen to get all the correct details before it goes to court but I honestly have no idea where this other, incorrect, birth date has come from. It is a completely different day, month and year to my actual one. It isn't similar to any family members or friends. Literally no idea why this date would be associated with me at all, or why people in two different counties would have the same wrong date for me. She also said I hadn't been honest about the dealings with the police (I had) as there were 'incidents' on my file. I have absolutely no idea what these are or where they have come from.

I now have to provide ID and have been made to feel like a criminal, I'm so upset and confused.

Aibu to wonder if they will throw my case out now, because of this?

Aibu to be scared that if it does go to court they will tear me apart because of all this?

Aibu to wonder there the hell all these inaccuracies have come from and what on earth they have to do with a rape case?

Apologies if this is in the wrong place but I really don't know what to do next.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 03-Jun-15 11:16:33

I would talk to Witness Support at the court where your case is being heard.

Did this woman identify herself? I'm a paranoid old bastard, and what you've described sounds like an attempt to interfere with a witness. I say this because I've had statements taken at home, and they've all been done in person.

DoraGora Wed 03-Jun-15 11:21:24

The police in the UK, all some 40 odd forces are under massive pressure to solve rapes, (a small proportion of which are not real complaints)

They do have specialist officers to deal with rape, but they're in short supply. So, they use untrained officers who don't want the hassle of doing all the preparation on a case only to find it ripped to pieces either by the DPP or the criminal defence. So, the untrained officers are effectively trying to prosecute the case in the interview room to find out whether or not it's worth following up on.

In your case, I would just ask to speak directly to the head of her CID unit and I would ask for a trained rape case officer to take over.

BiscuitMillionaire Wed 03-Jun-15 11:22:12

That sounds awful Shiny and not the way they should be dealing with you. Maybe it's a case of mistaken identity? There is someone else with the same name as you with a different DOB and police incidents on file. Do you have a solicitor? I would get legal advice on this.

I'm sorry, this is the last thing you should be stressed about in this situation.

ihatethecold Wed 03-Jun-15 11:24:49

This doesn't sound right op.

Do you have a contact as mentioned above.

I would be surprised that this sort of questioning would happen over the phone.

VivienScott Wed 03-Jun-15 11:28:04

Check with your council (the one you pay council tax to) what DOB they have for you, if you get any benefits (child etc) check what date they have, possibly speak to the tax office, check they have the correct DOB. Then either take this info back to the police and ask what the hell they are doing, or get your information corrected, mistakes do happen.

DoraGora Wed 03-Jun-15 11:31:59

vivien, I'd go straight to the CID unit, the reason being, that if it's a hoax they'll know and if it's a real officer who just has the wrong approach, they'll know and sort her out. ie kill 3 birds with one stone. If the OP starts checking council records she'll be chasing her own tail and still be no better of in regard to the phonecalls.

ApeMan Wed 03-Jun-15 11:32:10

Are you sure it was a real police officer? It sounds very like dodgy shakedown tactics that would benefit the other side.

GloriousGoosebumps Wed 03-Jun-15 11:33:09

I can feel your stress! The person you spoke to may be an admin person rather than a police office which might explain the harsh / heavy handed tone. They'll either be trying to ensure that there are no surprises in court or perhaps the alleged rapist has made these allegations. The problem when the police obtain information from outside bodies is that the person who entered the information on the computer system may simply have made an error. Do you have a liaison officer? Speak to her. Provide proof of your identity as requested and suggest the police ask for copies of the original documents which will show its either a computer error or nothing to do with you at all. Don't panic, even if you were a master criminal ( which seems to be the suggestion) it wouldn't be a defence to rape!

ReallyTired Wed 03-Jun-15 11:36:13

Last year I was a victim of a crime and the criminal pleaded guility the day before the trial. A lot of criminals are advised to plead guility by their solititor when the evidence is overwelling.

I am sorry you have to to go through this. I am surprised someone talked to you over the phone. I had all statements taken at home in person. The crime that happened to me was nowhere near as traumatic as rape.

I suggest you contact victim support. They can talk you through what will happen in court. If the crown proscetution service decide to proscute then you can make a court visit prior to the court case. A crown court is nothing like TV. The accused is behind glass so you are protected. You can sit so you do not have to look at him.

Most court cases result in a conviction as the police have usually done their homework throughly. The police asking for your ID is about making sure that your case is a watertight as possible rather than them thinking you are criminal.

kungfupannda Wed 03-Jun-15 11:46:10

Criminal lawyer here. Sounds like poor practice by the police officer in question, but possibly just trying to close any possible 'holes' in the case and anticipate any potential queries by the CPS.

Re incidents on file - this could be referring to previous allegations made by you, not to allegations against you. If you've never made allegation then it must be an error, possibly related to the incorrect birth date. People's police national computer records do sometimes have random 'aliases' and incorrect birthdates on that people have no idea about.

There's no harm in speaking to the OIC and making it clear that you felt attacked and accused, and you'd like a chance to speak to someone in person as these issues regarding other birth dates and dealings with the police are nothing to do with you but have made you stressed and upset.

Coldilox Wed 03-Jun-15 11:59:58

I'm a rape detective. I don't post often but will post here. I agree with others that posting here for advice is not ideal as you will get well meaning people offering bad advice.

I won't go into the ins and outs of it, a) because I don't know the case, and b) you have no idea I am who I say I am. So here is my advice (and I largely agree with kungfupanda)

Speak to the officer in the case. If you don't feel comfortable, ask to speak to her sergeant. Explain that the conversation upset and worried you, and ask them to explain why it is so important that this is clarified, and where the uncertainty has come from. As for the way she dealt with you, she may just have had a bad day, from experience she probably has more work than she can reasonably cope with and is under pressure from all sides. That doesn't make it acceptable in any way. Say how it made you feel and I'm sure an apology will be forthcoming.

Do you have an ISVA? They can approach the police on your behalf about this, but I know provision in some areas is poor.

The officer is just doing her job, it is really important that any issues are sorted out before things go as far as court, because if they come up then that's when they can cause real problems.

Good luck, I hope you get the result you want.

rockybalboa Wed 03-Jun-15 12:03:48

It will be someone with the same name they are confusing you with. Happens occasionally with GP practices in my old job and causes untold hassle with people being questioned about how long they've been an alcoholic etc and it's not actually them at all. It does sound as if the officer calling was a bit heavy handed and insensitive though. Do you have a designated liaison officer?

Shinyredb1ke Wed 03-Jun-15 12:16:46

I apologise for sounding stupid but I have no idea what the CID, IVSA, liaison officers etc are. I have been dealing with one police woman called 'X', who was the person I spoke to on the phone. Other than than the only contact I have had is with another officer 'Y' who initially took me to have my statement done but has since transferred somewhere else. Lady 'Z' took my statement (on video) and has kept me updated with the case via phone but have had no contact with anyone else.

I know the police officer was only doing her job and attempting to make sure there are no surprises in court and I totally understand that, I honestly want to comply as much as I can in order to give the best chance of convicting him but I just can't understand how the stuff she was asking me about is relevent to my rape case. I have not made any complaints to the police before nor, as far as I know, had any made against me. The officer seemed convinced that because agencies in the county I used to live and my current county both had the same wrong date that it couldn't be incorrect. Is it possible a mistake was made and then passed on? Just so confused!

Coldilox Wed 03-Jun-15 12:26:24

CID is where detectives work, depending in where you are the officer in the case may or may not work in CID, there may be a specialist rape/sexual offences unit (I work in one of these).

ISVA is Independent Sexual Violence Advocate, they support victims through the criminal justice system. Funding for them is poor so not all areas have them, and very few areas have enough. Ask your officer about them.

The officer you have been dealing with is the OIC (Officer in the case). If you feel comfortable speaking to her, do so, if not ask to speak to her sergeant. Nobody here can answer your questions as to why this confusion has occurred, but they may be able to put your minds at rest. It is relevant to your case, confusion over ID or background can be used by the defense, which is why it is important to sort it out now. Please try to have an open conversation with your OIC, they can't tell you everything about the case but they should be able to put your mind at rest a little.

Icimoi Wed 03-Jun-15 12:54:12

Ring back and ask her precisely which agencies told her that they had a different birthdate for you, so that you can contact them and check directly. I strongly suspect it is someone with a similar name.

zipzap Wed 03-Jun-15 12:55:32

is it worth googling your own name and seeing what comes up? And then maybe doing it a couple more times with different details that the police lady gave you - such as the wrong date of birth, the word police, the old county you were in, any key words from the allegations she mentioned etc.

You might find that something comes up that shows there's another Shinyred that they have managed to get mixed up with you.

Also - it sounds like you're sure that it was X you were talking to and that you have dealt with her previously - but have you spoken to her before to know what she sounds like, so are you sure that it really was her if you see what I mean? Can you see what number she called you from as a cross check?

bilbodog Wed 03-Jun-15 13:26:52

how about getting in touch with one of the rape charities and speaking to them as they should know the sort of questions you would need to answer and be able to help if you are unsure with anything? They might even be able to send someone to support you if you do need to have further questioning from the police? Good Luck.

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