Sunderland domestic violence charity welcomes review of rape cases

Claire Phillipson of Wearside Women in Need
Claire Phillipson of Wearside Women in Need
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A DOMESTIC violence campaigner has welcomed news police are to review dozens of rape allegations initially classed as ‘no crime’.

A recent audit of Northumbria Police by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), found some rape cases may have been wrongly “no crimed”.

Further checks were carried out on all reports since October 2011, and a team of officers led by Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson which looked in more detail at 153 cases, will now review 54 cases.

“The initial assessment is now complete. I have reported my findings direct to the chief constable and we have determined that 54 cases require further investigation,” he said.

“These have been re-opened as crimes and each case will be reinvestigated by the review team.

“This will include contacting the victims in these identified cases and our main priority is to support them through this process.”

Claire Phillipson, of Wearside Women in Need, said she had been surprised so many cases had been identified in the review.

“Every time we, as an organisation, have supported a woman to report a rape, she has had a good response,” she said.

“We have never, to our knowledge, been involved with a case that has been ‘no crimed’. It runs counter to what we have seen.

“Although the numbers were worrying, it was encouraging to see police treating the issue seriously.

“I don’t think we can ask more of a very large organisation than that.

“They have systems internally and externally that will evidence when they have failed to do what they are supposed to do.

“They have certainly been very upfront about what has happened.

“There does not seem to be any effort to sweep this under the carpet and not keep the public informed about what is going on.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “The action being taken is right and will get to the root of the issues.

“I am confident progress is being made and victims are being dealt with sensitively and appropriately.”

Anyone with concerns should contact police on 101.