Hola. Hope you are well.
Today’s blog post surrounds a serious story, which is rare for me, and doesn’t have much laughs (not so rare) I said it before anyone else did. I was going to talk about this subject in a previous blog post but got side tracked by boiler problems et al.
The other week I saw on the news thatthe specialist Met sex crimes unit based in Southwark, south London, ‘tried to persuade women who reported they had been sexually attacked to drop their cases’. They did this in an attempt to boost their performance figures, which were among the worst in the Met.
Call me old-fashioned but you’d like to think that if went to the police about anything, they’d try to help you but if it’s for something as serious as rape/a sex crime, you would assume the police would do everything in their powers to investigate and bring the perpetrator to justice. The last thing you might think is that they are going to try to deter you from proceeding with your case. If you did think they were trying to deter you, the last reason you would consider is so they can make their figures look good. What is more worrying is that this wasn’t one or two rogue cops, this must have been an edict passed down, and a culture that wasn’t opposed. Even more worryingly is it appears this was not isolated to this one borough, with 5 others linked to similar practices.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure in most professions manipulation of figures goes on. I’m also not naive enough to think that manipulation or ‘massaging‘ of crime stats doesn’t go on, from the police and the politicians a like, but I’d like to think that if you work in the sex crimes unit of a police force, pressure to manipulate figures would be non-existent. After all by not investigating such a crime, your figures may improve but at what cost? The victim may drop the allegations but you’ve still got a potential rapist in the community, who could offend again. Which is what happened in the above case, where the man went on to kill his 2 children. Who knows, what this did to their murder stats? (apologies for being flippant)
The reason, I decided to write about this is because the story of manipulating sex crime figures received very little attention in the media and yet the ‘horsemeat scandal’, which broke around the same time has received plenty of air time and column inches and continues to do so.
If we were to assume that media coverage reflects what the public wants, it would suggest that as a society we are more interested in what we put in our mouths, than protecting victims of serious sex crimes and I for one don’t believe this to be true.
Til next time, stay safe!