Yet another example of how crime statistics are distorted for immoral purposes is highlighted in a report from the BBC.
The article states that the BBC have learned that rape claims are being left off official crime records. A freedom of information request has revealed that some UK police forces fail to record more than 40% of cases.
Police rules of guidance for rape state that only allegations verified as false, reported to the wrong force, or recorded in error can be removed.
Wide regional variations are reflected but some forces had such a high number of cases removed from records - known as "no-criming" - that critics say it is evident the rules are not being properly applied.
The article goes on to reveal that there are hundreds of instances where rapes are reported but never make it into the Home Office figures. This doesn't even take into account incidents that were reported and subsequently "no-crimed".
This is a further, more serious example of example of how police procedures and the ridiculous race for detections and performance targeting obstruct the frontline officer from fulfilling their function as effectively as they would want, with the knock on effect of frustrating the ends of justice for the true victims.
There are instances where false allegations are made for whatever reason. A relationship goes wrong and the woman regrets having sex with a man and makes the allegation, after a few drinks a woman has sex with a man then fearing the consequences of discovery by her partner, reports the matter as rape to cover her tracks. The police have an extremely difficult task in getting to the truth of these allegations but there are skilled and trusted officers who are eminently capable of doing so. Rape is one allegation that is said to be "difficult to prove and even more difficult to disprove", so a great degree of care, sensitvity and diligence is required to arrive at the facts.
Of the rape cases that are reported, a meagre 6.5% are detected. Home Office and police information suggests that only 2% of cases are found to be false. If offences are being concealed or suppressed in this way, it disguises the enormity and sevirity of the real problem.
RAPE IS TRIVIALISED
The issue that is of great concern here is that the police crime reporting process is used as yet another means to suppress the real undetected crime picture in the UK. Any commitment and endeavour of the investigating officers is tainted by the subsequent failure to record the offence accurately when the offence is misrepresented or simply not recorded.
The police guidelines for recording crime centre around "Victim Focus". If a crime is reported, the victim has grounds to believe a crime has occurred and there is no quality evidence to suggest otherwise, the police are required to record the matter as a crime. This applies regardless of the offence, burglary, theft, wounding, fraud or sexual offences including rape. If someone breaks into your house and steals your property, it is reported as a burglary. That crime stands on the books whether the offender is caught and a detection is achieved or not. If the suspect is arrested, charged and for whatever reason a conviction is not achieved, the crime of burglary remains as a recorded crime. How can it be then, that if a woman is raped, and there is no quality evidence to suggest it is a false allegation, that the incident can be so easily wiped off the books?
There is something seriously wrong with the moral compass of the policy of a force that encourages or permits this to happen.
It is easy to make the mistake of generalising police attitudes. The cases that attract the media attention are those where officers displayed a less than sympathetic or even dismissive attitude toward the victim. One of the best writers on this subject is a police blogger, writing under a pseudonym of WPC Ellie Bloggs. Read some of her articles on the subject by clicking here. "Ellie" is both a woman and a serving police officer, with a balanced view of the problem and her views make for informed reading on the subject.
The distortion of the recording of rape crimes is a despicable use of the process for statistical benefit and needs revision urgently. As we have seen in other articles from these pages, rape is not the only crime that is misreported or mis-allocated for the sole purpose of projecting a better image of policing and detections. It is however, one of the examples with far more serious implications and consequences to justice being delivered and restoring public confidence.
Far better that a crime is reported, whatever its category, and the public are made aware of the real resource needs of the police service to deal with the problem, than using statistics as a political football so that the latest crime reduction headlines can be so blithly reported. Once the true picture is revealed, the correct degree of resource and expertise can be applied to deal with it. Until that time, the UK public will continue to be short changed and conned, both in terms of the millions paid in tax and the justice it deserves.