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

(145 Posts)
NormaStanleyFletcher 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

SirEdmundFrillary Mon 25-Mar-13 14:47:14

My point was this:

He's been DPP since 2008. He said, this year, that in 2009 they could have prosecuted some of the Saville cases and seems to have conceded there was a slant towards skepticism towards the child victims.

It's good that has been accepted but it's taken a celebrity interest to get them to listen when some people have been questioning them for some time and they've vigorously defended the policies they now say they've scrapped (according to their press release).

I don't think it's him, as a person, I agree he seems to be interested. But the CPS has, at least since 2000, issued a lot of stuff about how much they do to help this. Why should this one be different? I hope it will. I'm waiting to see.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Fri 22-Mar-13 18:10:46

It's available now, the newsbeat story is the first item.

Chris Smith came out with the same old flannel about having planned the story for ages and insisted it was a balanced piece.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Fri 22-Mar-13 16:54:43

They're talking about this on Feedback. I don't know if I've missed it as I've just tuned in but it'll be available on the website afterwards.

SirEdmundFrillary Fri 22-Mar-13 15:59:23

LineRunner, I agree with you, I'm not arguing with you, I'm arguing with them.

I thought what they said was good but they've been saying good things for a long time and it hasn't affected anything, so why should this one now? Is what I'm asking.

addressio Fri 22-Mar-13 15:32:10

Complain to the BBC about what?

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 20-Mar-13 22:39:04

I am a little late on the bandwagon, but have just seen this. I sent a complaint to the BBC as well. The angle of the reporting is apalling!

Dozer Wed 20-Mar-13 21:01:45

The reply makes it even worse. Have they learned nothing?

LittleWhiteWolf Mon 18-Mar-13 14:22:31

I had the same reply last night (or rather I saw it last night, have been poorly all weekend) and I'm still furious. I'm glad I found this thread again; I want to know where else to complain and I knew you lot would know where to go.

LineRunner Sun 17-Mar-13 00:04:01

He was - he was asked the questions on here.

SirEdmundFrillary Sat 16-Mar-13 21:28:43

I only heard R4 Today Prog and was struck by the slant of their reporting, twice - the first time with John Humphreys and a couple of days later by Sarah Montague. It was noticeable - they're not worried about getting stuck in when it suits them.

The Keir Starmer love-in is all very well but he should be asked the questions that need asking.

SirEdmundFrillary Sat 16-Mar-13 20:54:14

I doubt the PCC will help, but they should.

SirEdmundFrillary Sat 16-Mar-13 20:52:56

I've sent an email to the BBC and a letter. A Letter (!) No reply to either.

ArmyOfPenguins Sat 16-Mar-13 20:20:15

Yes, someone write to Private Eye! I don't feel I could word it right. Might have a go ...

ArmyOfPenguins Sat 16-Mar-13 20:18:42

I've made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Encouraging others to do likewise.

LineRunner Sat 16-Mar-13 20:12:09

Thanks, Jacques.

I know people often dismiss the 'I'm writing to my MP' route, but:

An MP's letters are 'VIP tracked' by public bodies and the MP ought to receive a reply within 5 working days;

A decent MP will send the crap reply to the constituent and ask, how would you like me to reply to this piece of crap?

...and keep following it up. With more letters. Sometimes with questions in Parliament or in committees, Early Day Motions and Adjourment Debates.

Also journalists track this kind of thing. Private Eye are keen on exposing hypocrisy in public bodies, for example.

JacqueslePeacock Sat 16-Mar-13 19:59:14

Wow Linerunner that's great work.

I think Hall is due to start as DG shortly.

LineRunner Sat 16-Mar-13 18:18:16

I have got my MP to agree to write to Keir Starmer about the misrepresentation of the report in the BBC's 'context'.

That's one route.

Also Press Complaints Commission.

And is Tony Hall still the DG of the BBC?

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 16-Mar-13 18:14:43

How so we do that?

LineRunner Sat 16-Mar-13 15:40:53

Yes, I've had identical shit response from the BBC.

I hope everyone takes their complaint further up the food chain.

ScrambledSmegs Sat 16-Mar-13 14:33:16

I've had the same response as Fastidia. I think I'm actually angrier than I was before.

They really are a bunch of idiots.

Trekkie Sat 16-Mar-13 13:12:25

any updates?

the item is still linked from newsbeat homepage

runningforthebusinheels Fri 15-Mar-13 17:54:29

I haven't heard from the bbc either, but I'm assuming I'll get the same shit response as above.

Don't know if it will come to anything, but I put in a complaint to the pcc as well - as I think inaccurate misrepresentation of the cps report int his way is a breach of section 1 of the code of conduct. We shall see.

AbigailAdams Fri 15-Mar-13 17:07:23

Their "context" is their misogynistic agenda hmm. And what is the "context" in this instant?? The context of perpetuating myths amongst teenage boys is obviously more important than reassuring them (and teenage girls) that false accusations are rare. And of course more important than actually dealing with the issue of teenage rape.

I complained yesterday and haven't heard anything.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 15-Mar-13 16:22:51

You know what else pisses me off? Their nonsense about "contextualising the story".

They only "contextualise" when they want. I had an e-mail exchange with one of their editors a while ago, where I was actually complaining about their failure to contextualise a domestic violence murder and this is how it went:

Me: This report concentrated on what a great guy this homicidal
maniac was. It had his picture up front (not that of his victim) and it
interviewed elected representatives in North Norfolk who ignored and
minimised the fact that he was a violent abuser. There is obviously a
history of hidden domestic violence here - normal men don't just shoot their
wives - which is totally ignored by the elected representatives of Cromer
and the reporter who wrote this article. Between 2 and 3 women a week have been murdered in the UK by their partners or ex partners this year and thissort of reporting makes it possible - it plays into the idea that normal men
just suddenly run amok and murder their (unworthy, ignorable) wives,
girlfriends and exes. It brushes over the really serious problem of
domestic violence and ignores it. 1 in 4 women are subjected to DV and
we're mostly licence-fee payers - why aren't you reporting domestic violence
and male violence against women (the biggest and most under-reported
category) properly? You have a duty to do so.

Her: Most of the initial information which emerged around the story (which was still unfolding at the point we started to write it) was connected to Mr Johnson because he was a public figure. This was also why there was a picture of him available in the first instance. As the reporting of the story developed, more detail emerged about Mrs Johnson and we have included this. In talking to those who knew the individuals involved we simply reported what they said.

We continue to work on the story about the tragic death of two individuals and will continue to add information as appropriate.

Me: "In talking to those who knew the individuals involved we simply reported what they said."

I take your point, but I think the BBC has a duty to make an effort to talk to people who might actually talk some sense. I understand the family of the murdered woman were probably too traumatised to talk to the BBC, but without fail, men who murder their wives, have had a back-history of hidden Domestic Violence and it is just not good enough for a publicly-funded broadcaster like yourselves to ignore the context in which these news stories happen - you could have talked to experts in family-annihilators or domestic abuse. Time and time again when I read about men murdering their wives and/ or children, I read minimisation and empathy with the murderer and excuses for male violence and I read apologia for men's entitlement to not have their feelings so badly hurt or provoked, that they end up murdering women and children - as if killing is not a choice they make, it's something they are driven to.

1 in 4 women live with chronic domestic violence, that is the context in which these murders happen. If a black boy or man is murdered by a white boy or man, you don't ignore the context of racism and racial violence, so why do you systematically ignore the really serious context of male violence against women? 2-3 women a week are murdered by their male partners; this is a real thing; women on the whole don't murder other women and they don't murder their male partners on the scale that men murder women. Why is the BBC not acknowledging this fact in its reporting? If it were a racist or an anti-Semitic murder, you would acknowledge the context, so why not when it is male violence against women?

I guess my point is, is that if you as a broadcaster were properly aware of the context in which this murder happened, your first report would not have been so inappropriate because you would have understood without having to be told, that this is yet another domestic violence murder. This is about properly informing the public, properly contextualising, ensuring that when you report horrific stories like this, you as a public-service broadcaster enlighten and inform instead of hiding context and in doing so, being part of the problem instead of part of the solution. The media has a role to play in tackling crimes like this, not just in reporting them; its role is to uncover the context and to make connections between each of the murders of the 2-3 women who were killed last week, the week before, the week before that and who will be killed next week, the week after and the week after that, by men with whom they have or have had intimate relationships. If you don't play the role of acknowledging the context, then what you are doing, is ensuring that these murders keep happening while people pretend there is no connection - the same way people used to pretend there was no connection between individual black men being murdered by white men. That's not what the BBC should be doing in my opinion and I really do think you should take some steps to educate yourself as an organisation about male violence against women the same way I'm sure you do about racist, anti-Semitic and violence against other marginalised groups so that the first reports are not always so badly-done.

Her: We will, of course continue to cover this story as new information emerges. It is not appropriate for us to speculate about any extent of domestic violence when no such evidence exists. It is simply untrue so far as I can establish to say that where a man kills his wife there is ‘without fail’ a back history of hidden domestic violence. Our job is to report the facts and context as they emerge and to analyse them without speculating or making assumptions.

Me: All right, the phrase should be "almost without fail" then.

The fact is, when murders like this happen, they happen in a context which you are refusing to acknowledge in a way you don't refuse to acknowledge when it is racist violence. The problem with your statement about reporting the facts and context "as they emerge", is that the BBC, along with the rest of the media, very rarely report the context once it emerges - that of the chronic level of domestic violence; the news story has moved on by then and been replaced by another context-less murder. If it is your job to report the context as well as the facts, then you're simply not doing it well enough at the moment.

At that point, she stopped replying. grin

Sorry to c&p all that, it's quite long, but I think it shows how much bollocks the excuse of "contextualising" is. They're telling one listener complaining about the lack of context that doing context isn't their job and now they're telling all the other listeners that promoting rape myths is in fact, "context". How over-powering is the smell of bullshit here?

HotheadPaisan Fri 15-Mar-13 13:36:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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