Sunderland women’s rights campaigner welcomes reinvestigations over ‘no crime’ rape cases

Clare Phillipson from Wearside Women in Need.
Clare Phillipson from Wearside Women in Need.
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A WOMEN’S rights campaigner has welcomed news the police will be reinvestigating several rape cases.

Northumbria Police has launched a probe after some rape cases were potentially incorrectly labelled as “no crime”.

Each time a rape is reported, it is recorded as a crime before any investigation takes place. So far this year, 33 rapes have been subsequently “no crimed” after police have looked into it.

However, 11 of those will now be looked at again by the force’s Professional Standards Department to determine whether or not they were properly dealt with.

Clare Phillipson, director of Wearside Women in Need, said: “Our experience of dealing with Northumbria Police when it comes to crimes of rape has been very good. The individual women have been treated sensitively and with respect.”

But she said the problem comes when the offender and the victim are known to each other and it can become very difficult to secure a prosecution.

Clare said: “I think there is a wider issue at stake and that is how the population views the victims of rape and there is still a lot of blame placed on them, and we see this on a daily basis.”

The campaigner said she welcomes the news that the police are scruitinising these 11 cases to determine if they were properly dealt with.

Those officers involved in the identified cases so far have been moved to other duties, until the full circumstances have been determined and all victims identified will be contacted by police.

The matter came to light during a recent audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Chief Constable Sue Sim then ordered a comprehensive investigation.