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The police seem to be unwilling to investigate allegations of rape. Why?

(152 Posts)
Solopower Sat 09-Jun-12 15:46:19

It seems that the police are still not taking rape seriously as a crime. Either they don't believe the victim, or they just think it would be too difficult to prove - but why are they letting (mainly) women down like this?

SardineQueen Sat 09-Jun-12 23:34:00

Or I could choose to believe the figures compiled by the government.

SardineQueen Sat 09-Jun-12 23:36:48

Certainly false claims of crimes like mugging, and the exaggeration of loss in theft in order to claim insurance are higher than for other crimes. Where there is the possibility of financial gain.

This does not apply to rape.

You sound as if you think a lot of women who report rape a lying. I find that disturbing.

BasilBabyEater Sat 09-Jun-12 23:41:47

Vicar, false reporting on rape is betwen 2 and 6%.

Just because individual police officers are as steeped in rape myths as anyone else, doesn't mean tht women are falsely alleging rape in vast numbers.

It just means that police think they are and therefore don't bother to investigate properly.

I'm sorry but I don't think you have the right to be annyoed about police being criticised for their handling of rape cases. It is disgraceful. Well over 90% of women who report rape, are telling the truth, but most of those cases don't get to court because the police don't believe them and therefore don't investigate them.

Someone here once mentioned an officer in Boston or Chicago I think it was, who had a 95% conviction rate and she got this by getting rapists to confess (not by torture!) Who was it and who is this woman, I think we could all learn from her.

mirry2 Sat 09-Jun-12 23:59:07

My own experience is that the police were brilliant. I was involved in a high profile case and have nothing but admiration for how it was handled by the rape unit police women (forgotten their name now). The court equally supportive. Let down by the crown prosecution service. I won't say more as it may out me.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Jun-12 00:21:13

actually i do believe most reports of rape are true - and i think the way uniform handle them properly.

we have in our force a dedicated team who do alot to dispel the rape myths within my force and they do dedicated training of all new recruits because there is alot of pre concieved bull shit out there thats true - but i do find it insulting to assume that all police officers are corrupt or do not believe the victim.

i dont know - maybe im just naive - but i am not cynical and i do believe everyone with everything, my default setting is believe, and then investigate.
i find your assumption of me insulting sardine - i have given up my own time to work with rape crisis.
The areas of this work that interest me, and that i have personal experience of as a victim are rape, domestic violence and child abuse.

so i find your assumptions of me disturbing.

what i am saying is that alot of people lie to the police, not necessarily about rape but on many other issues, - the truth usually lies somewhere inbetween what they tell you and what the suspect tells you. Unless you do this job then how can you just dismiss what i am saying? i have no interest in lying on here - im anonymous!

i have heard some things, while on investigations, from officers, that disturb me. and i have said so. but rape is incredibly incredibly difficult to prove much of the time - if the suspect admits sex happened then foresics are no use - it comes down to one word against another, and very often, as sad as this is, the CPS will not run a case with little or no chance of conviction.

that is not to say that reporting should be discouraged or is useless. but i do think that just to say generally that the police are useless, or even as in this case, criminally negligent, is far from the mark, generally speaking.

Putthatbookdown Sun 10-Jun-12 08:00:46

Right let's see this from another angle Eg I am a shopkeeper and someone runs off with some goods from my shop. I phone the police. They come round and say "What were you doing with those things on display?" or something similar You would not be very pleased . So why when rape occurs is the victim treated so unsympathetically treated ? Answer that!!! If a car crashes into another would someone say "Well, you should not have been driving . along that road , at that time ect" No noone would say that would they? See what I mean?

Solopower Sun 10-Jun-12 10:01:30

All Vicar is saying is that not all police react unsympathetically, and a lot work very hard indeed to make the world a better place.

Surely we would all agree with that?

Imo as with all organisations, it's the minority who are actually criminal/criminally negligent, and the majority who maybe don't think too deeply about things and just go with the prevailing culture. No malice but no real thought either. Just doing their job as they are told to do it.

It's the majority culture we have to change and that means changing society. How do we do that??

edam Sun 10-Jun-12 10:10:23

The two cases of incompetent and malevolent officers being investigated at the moment are horrifying. Three YEARS after Warboys, when it finally came to light that the police were ignoring rape victims, and the police promised to take rape seriously, we have two more officers lying about rape victims, forging documents and allowing yet more rapists to go free. WTF?

It's all very well saying most officers are decent human beings who try to do a good job - clearly there are some who are not and there is a culture that allows them to get away with lying and harming victims. This is not a couple of bad apples. We need a McPherson report on institutional sexism.

Solopower Sun 10-Jun-12 10:27:00

We certainly need some external body to investigate. The police cannot police themselves.

kirrinIsland Sun 10-Jun-12 10:35:03

putthat you do, of course, make a valid point. But is there any evidence that the police in general are saying that? It the defence lawyers that come up with that stuff in an attempt to discredit the victim and get their client off. And they may well know that their client is guilty.
It's the cps that decide not to prosecute, and that often come down to what vicar said ^ if the suspect admits sex took place then forensics are useless, it his word against hers, and you just can't convict on just that.
The article is damning and it does suggest that attitudes need to change, but to suggest that all police everywhere are the same as the 2 mentioned in the article is grossly unfair to officers who are working tirelessly help victims of sex crimes.
It is mostly not the police that decide not to pursue a case, and it is mostly done because there is no chance of conviction not because the victim isn't believed.

SardineQueen Sun 10-Jun-12 12:00:06

Look at the reid case
Look at the warboys case
Look at the different rates of no criming rape around the country
look at complaints about bad practice by sapphire specialist officers wrt warboys victims
there is evidence that something is amiss
If only the report that was ordered while brian paddick was there had been released, we would know a lot more.They covered up their ineptitude, they changed the report and then shevled it

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 10-Jun-12 13:01:54

While I agree with Vicar that there are some fantastic police officers out there, this does seem to point to a problem (with the culture?) within the Saphire Unit.

There are meant to be the rape specialists.
They were taken under central control over the Warboys/Reid fiascos
They were meant to be under closer supervision

And still there are officers closing down rape investigations and pretending that the decision has been made by cps, or that the victim has withdrawn their complaint.

I am glad they have been caught. I hope that this leads to a proper overhaul of the unit, and that some improvements can be made.

BasilBabyEater Sun 10-Jun-12 13:11:12

Actually I don't think you need to change society to change the culture of an organisation.

Obviously, for all orgs, they draw their workers from wider society and so will have people who have bucket-headed ideas about a range of issues. But if an organisation makes it clear what its ethos is and that it will not tolerate certain things within it, then that culture is developed and grows.

The public sector and charities have been very successful in doing this. Obviously there are always gaps, but I've worked for companies where racism, for example, would simply not be tolerated. Sexism is a harder nut to crack because it's still socially acceptable or unnoticed. You can change orgs without changing society though, if you couldn't, masses of org just wouldn't be the sort of places they are.

I do think that the police (and the FA) use "but society is sexist/ racist/ whatever" as an excuse to wash their hands of their responsiblity as organisations, to promote decency within their organisations. Fobbing it off onto the rest of society, is basically saying: "when the world has changed and the messiah has arrived, then we'll implement policies and structures which mean we'll be treating all sections of the community properly. Until then, we refuse to take any responsibility whatsoever, for pro-actively implementing policies and an ethos which will ensure that our culture means this shit won't happen any more, we're just going to carry on being nobs".

I'm not convinced.

Solopower Sun 10-Jun-12 13:34:02

Yes! I hope you're right, BasilBabyEater - and I'm sure you are.

After all, change has to start somewhere.

Putthatbookdown Sun 10-Jun-12 17:49:05

I think it is a good job they have been caught up with as this is a failing service albeit in just ONE area of the country so not overly worried. On the other hand it is the Met and it is of concern that in such a large place there are such failings. I cannot believe the Met des not have the experience to deal with crime as a large city has plenty to deal with but could believe they do not have the number of officers- a different issue.As far as the legal profession is concerned lawyers will defend their clients BUT it is in no-one's interests that a serial offender is let loose. I bet if you are poor, unemployed , of a certain racial origin etc the system will let you down anyway Has anyone broken down the figures?

pattercakes Tue 19-Jun-12 16:28:45

Date rape. One problem is juries are told not to convict when it is one persons word against another. So the CPS tend not to prosecute. New thinking is needed

CrownPrincessOhDearNigel Wed 20-Jun-12 14:01:50

Totally agree with ViaTutus post at at 12:22.

CrownPrincessOhDearNigel Wed 20-Jun-12 14:04:09

Solopwer - we do hve an independant body to investigate us - the IPCC

ALISONJAYNE Thu 02-Aug-12 18:49:43

it is not disturbing to think that people make up lies about being raped, because i am a mother of a 15 yr old boy who has gone through hell after being accused of it by a jealous ex girlfriend, we have gone through months of emotional torture and so has he and he keeps getting rebailed. we know he is innocent, we believe him as we know our son. we find out in october whether they will charge him but he is innocent and this girl is very sick to lie about something so very serious. my son is in bits afraid to go outside the door!! no support for him though so YES women, girls they do LIE!

sancerreity Sat 04-Aug-12 12:01:26

I think the problem is that because of it's nature there are often no witnesses to rape.A juror may believe it is probable that a women was raped, he might believe it is very likely she was raped, but that's not good enough.He has to believe beyond ALL reasonable doubt and that is a very high threshold when there are no impartial witnesses to testify

Denise34 Sun 05-Aug-12 17:11:38

If the police don't question whether the rape really took place, the courts certainly will.

FastidiaBlueberry Tue 07-Aug-12 20:48:17

Actually alisonjayne, there's a 90%+ chance that your son did it. The rate of false allegations of rape is extremely low and men have a much stronger motive for lying about rape, than women do.

All rapists tell their mums they didn't do it.

kimjoy Wed 08-Aug-12 11:15:08

police like getting convictions. Date rape is difficult to get a conviction on

FastidiaBlueberry Wed 08-Aug-12 23:04:15

Yes, especially if you don't look for evidence or investigate in any way at all

ALISONJAYNE Tue 21-Aug-12 10:02:18

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