Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Still not being taken seriously?

Article on the BBC today about rape. Raises several interesting points:

1) Before we even get to the point of the article there is a sentence which incenses me: "figures show one in five reported rapes in London leads to a caution or charge"... a CAUTION or charge? Who is committing rape and getting away with a caution? Thats very naughty, now don't rape anyone again? If we needed evidence that reported rapes aren't being treated as serious crimes that is surely it in glorious technicolour!

2) Well seems like (and this is the point of the article) depends which borough you're in as to whether or not you are "believed" when you report rape at your local police station. Now they don't tell us the breakdown so maybe I shouldn't comment but I'd like to see where the best areas are and name-and-shame the areas doing worse.

3) "In one case from London, officers said they had lost the evidence". So the campaign to have it taken seriously is going well then...?

4) Now lets hear from Det Ch Insp Osborn... "If one recognises that the vast majority of rape cases are committed by people known to each other, the issue is now over consent and how it's defined.". Thanks for that. I only know one definition of consent. Its pretty clear cut in my mind. I've never been uncertain as to whether or not I've consented to sex. I've never left my partner in any doubt as to whether or not I'm consenting to sex. Shouldn't we be questioning here whether or not DetCh Insp Osborn is a fit person to work on the inquiry into treatment of reported rapes?

5) And here's what he says next: "It's about judges, juries, the Crown Prosecution Service, interpretation of the law and what rape is - as it's no longer the classic definition of stranger rape." I'm sorry, did we EVER think that rape was only rape if committed by a stranger? Do we treat murderers differently if they've murdered someone they know? Or assaulters? Or arsonists? This guy IS symptomatic of what's wrong with the police service in London and why it doesn't afford rape victims the respect and care they deserve and why it consistently fails to garner convictions for those who have committed really horrible crimes.

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