Police pressure to drop rape charges

in order to improve conviction stats.

Rape victims were pressured to withdraw their allegations by a specialist Metropolitan police unit as officers tried to gerrymander their performance statistics, the report found.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the Sapphire unit at Southwark had failed victims. Women reporting rapes and sexual assaults were encouraged to withdraw their allegations, it said.

The watchdog said its investigation followed cases in 2008, when the Southwark Sapphire unit was performing poorly and under pressure to improve.

The report found women were questioned repeatedly by a detective about whether they had consented to sex. They were encouraged to withdraw their complaints, which boosted the unit’s sanctioned detection rate.

The rape allegations were not recorded by police.


Thanks, Mr Jender!



2 thoughts on “Police pressure to drop rape charges

  1. This is an all-too-common phenomenon, actually not specific to rape at all. The more focus is placed on clearance rates (usually the key statistic for police departments, rather than conviction rates), the more pressure we unintentionally place on police to direct their efforts towards raising clearance rates rather than solving crimes as such. And police are particularly exposed to temptation to raise clearance rates by lowering the denominator instead of increasing the numerator, as it were, for crimes that generally have low clearance rates to begin with, especially robbery and larceny. In my youth the police once talked me out of filing a report for an assault (nonsexual) and attempted robbery, almost certainly for this reason.

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