Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A quick note on those numbers

I guess we've all heard the number 313 complaints of sexual assault about 222 police officers.

It took me a while to figure out where those numbers came from. Operation Loft searched police files to find instances where sexual assault complaints were made against the police.

So (apart from 10 women who gave evidence) the only cases that were being considered was where women had tried to make a complaint to the police, and succeeded in getting something in writing.

It is an act of faith and strength to make a complaint to the police after a police officer had sexually assaulted you. I imagine far more women would stay silent, than go to the police in those circumstances.

There is also evidence that police would refuse to take complaints against other police officers. So the files this report was based on don't even contain all the cases where women made complaints

I've got a lot more to say about this report, obviously, I hope to find time to say it. But I wanted to start by pointing out how limited the report was.

Of those 222 police officers, 32 were charged - those are the damning numbers.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah. That's a lot.

    It is an act of faith and strength to make a complaint to the police after a police officer had sexually assaulted you. I imagine far more women would stay silent, than go to the police in those circumstances.

    The same problem exists in the United States especially in states with very strict laws or interpretations of laws regarding the confidentiality of peace officer records.

    People including women I talk to are so distrustful of the internal affairs division and its process on most forms of misconduct but sexual assault and rape under the color of authority is the hardest area.

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