Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons.

Reorganisation of Metropolitan Police Rape Units - 26-04-2013

Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham, responding to the reorganisation of Metropolitan Police Rape Units said:

"The trouble is, despite the obvious good intentions, we've heard it all before. I will have no confidence that the problems exposed, in just the latest of a number of reports, have really been tackled until there is proper independent follow-up on each and every sexual assault complainant. We should be asking the victims at the end of the process, "do you think the police took your case seriously?"

The problem is that even a few police officers not doing their duty in respect of sex crime undermines the good work done by all the others. We've heard top management assurances before and yet the problem clearly was not sorted.  The only way to be sure is the "reality check" from the victims. We know that victims are reluctant to report.  They must have complete confidence.  Too many false assurances have been given in the past. We know that rape is a "repeat offence". If he's not caught he'll do it again.

Bringing rapists to justice is important to the victim, but is also vital to protect future victims and to get the message over loud and clear: if you commit a sexual assault you will be caught and convicted."

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