Every police force should set up a specialist squad to investigate rape allegations, a senior officerWell, so far, so unsurprising. Government is being chivvied by women’s pressure groups on the rape conviction rate, and ACPO sees it as a way to improve specialisation career prospects for officers. But this bit caught my eye:
John Yates, who speaks on the issue for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Ed – them again!), argues such teams would help raise standards of victim care.
They would also help improve conviction rates as rape inquiries are demanding and require specialist skills, he will tell a London conference on the issue.
Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said the government was determined to improve rape conviction rates and acknowledged the crime remained under-reported.So, how are they supposed to deal with rape claims, if the slightest attempt to do any investigation (especially in ‘her word against his’ cases) might cause the complainant to think that her word is being doubted?
He highlighted progress, including the introduction of specially trained officers and prosecutors and better guidance for police.
He added: "Every force has a responsibility to ensure that every single officer who comes into contact with a rape victim is supportive and believes the victim.
"It may only take the raising of an eyebrow to cause her to lose courage."
Needless to say, the feminists are delighted at the proposals:
Women's equality group, the Fawcett Society, welcomed the government's drive to improve police responses to victims of rape.How exactly is the conviction rate going to go UP if the police put through cases where the complainant’s word has been accepted uncritically? They’ll get torn to shreds by the defence!
But policy officer Sarah Campbell said: "The fact that only 5.7% of reported rapes lead to a conviction is a national scandal.
"The government needs to drive cultural change within the criminal justice system, to ensure that rape is given a high priority by every police force in the country and to invest in a national network of rape crisis centres."
No doubt plans to just dispense with the whole unnecessary trial business will follow….