There are big problems with the way police investigate rape in the UK, independent probe finds

The head of the service says the report 'shines a light' on where the organisation must change

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The Independent Online

The Metropolitan Police and prosecutors are failing to properly deal with some rape cases because of a lack of resources, according to a new report.

An independent review into rape prosecutions by Dame Elish Angiolini commissioned by the force found that a recent rise in complaints and constrained resources was putting an “overwhelming burden” on officers.

The report makes 46 recommendations including improved resources, better training, consent and alcohol law reform, and better victim care.

The report's author said agencies involved must consider what "adjustments to law, policy and the working practices ... might also facilitate significant improvement or, in some instances, radical change to the investigation and prosecution of rape allegations".

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Benard Hogan-Howe said the report “shines a light” on the way the Met needed to change its procedures.

“It's clear we need to do something - we cannot ignore this,” he said in a response to the report, which he jointly commissioned.

 

“We have to acknowledge already we have lost 15 per cent of our budget and we believe later this year we will lose a further 15 per cent.

“We will look to government to see if there is anything they can do to support us. But either way, we have got to get better in terms of sexual offence investigations and in terms of reporting.”

The Met recorded a 68 per cent rise in rape between the 2005-6 years and 2013-14.

The was matched only by a 17 per cent increase in offences of that type being charged within that time, meaning a much lower proportion of offences made it to court.

In 2013 the service reorganised its rape and abuse command centres and merged them in order to tackle grooming gangs.

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