Sex crimes unit unveils new rape and sexual assault prevention strategy
Pubs and clubs where high levels of rape and sexual assault take place could be shut down in a radical move by London’s Metropolitan Police.
The new head of the force’s sex crime unit, Sapphire, has unveiled a strategy challenging male behaviour while also speaking to women about reducing their vulnerability to sex attacks.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie’s plans include using licensing laws to shut down pubs and clubs where a high level of rapes and/or sexual assaults take place. Other measures include a prevention campaign plus new tactics to target men who are suspected of sex crimes even though they have never been charged.
This comes after a decrease in rape reporting in London which bucks the national trend, which has caused concern that women have lost confidence in reporting such attacks to the police.
Duthie also pledged to reduce the 13 hour average time it takes for victims to be interviewed and medically examined after reporting rape.
However, a spokesperson for Women Against Rape was cynical of the new tactics.
She said: ‘These so-called prevention strategies are a diversion from what’s needed: thorough unbiased investigations and prosecutions so rapists are caught and convicted, and rape is discouraged.
‘Telling men not to rape will have no effect when the reality is that 93% of rapes don’t reach conviction. Victims want their attackers prosecuted for rape, not for some unconnected crime.
‘What makes women vulnerable is that the authorities side with the rapist rather than the victim: victims are disbelieved, especially if they have been attacked before.’