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Rape Crisis responds to inspection of Met Police response to Operation Midland review

HMICFRS (Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire & Rescue Services) has today (13th March 2020) published a report that assesses the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) progress in responding to a report by retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques on its Operation Midland.

The inspection found that the MPS had initially not done enough to learn the lessons from the Henriques report.

Rape Crisis England & Wales has concerns about the recommendations in today's HMICFRS report.

Katie Russell, national spokesperson for Rape Crisis, said:

“Anyone who reports a crime to the police should be able to expect respectful, impartial and empathetic treatment as standard. When the crime they are reporting is as serious as sexual violence and abuse, with such wide-ranging, significant and long-lasting impacts on lives and health, this is especially crucial.

Despite increasing numbers of people coming forward to report sexual offences in recent years, the vast majority who are subjected to these traumatic crimes still choose not to report to the police. In the course of our frontline work, victims and survivors tell us the reasons they don’t report include fear of not being believed and of being treated like the one under suspicion by the criminal justice process.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales and the Office for National Statistics estimate one in every five adult women have experienced some form of sexual violence since they turned 16, while one in every 13 adults were sexually abused as children. The overwhelming majority of these millions of people never receive criminal justice, while most rapists and sexual offenders go free. This is the real justice crisis and addressing it should be an urgent priority.

At a time when prosecution and conviction rates for sexual offences are at such unacceptable and alarming lows, we have to question the disproportionate focus of time and limited resources on the issue of false reporting, which affects so few people by comparison.”