Why is everything that starts off so very promising, always end up with a sour taste?
Essex Police are doing a tour of schools to educate 13-14yo girls to encourage them to report any ‘sex’ offences they may have been subjected to. So far, so good.
But don’t get your hopes up, because, Very Important to mention is the seriousness and consequences of making ‘false allegations’.
Girls to get advice about reporting sex offences
POLICE will visit schools urging young girls to report sex offences they may have been subjected to.
Officers will specifically talk with 13 and 14-year-olds and also warn them of the consequences of making false allegations of rape.
The new project will be piloted at four schools in Southend, where pupils in Year 9 will be given a programme of lessons over a school term. As well as educating youngsters about sexual violence, the initiative will offer referrals to pregnancy counsellors for teenagers who are already sexually active.
Parent Rita Hickey, of Elmsleigh Drive, Leigh, who has a 15-year-old daughter, Kirsty, feels the lessons are a positive idea, provided they are appropriately presented.
She said: “It’s good to encourage awareness and I think this would be a good thing, as long as it’s done the right way.
“It’s all part of education these days. Nowadays kids are so much more mature and are often more knowledgeable than adults.”
The new project is being spearheaded by Southend police in partnership with Southend Council and the South East Essex Primary Care Trust.
The Sexual Safety Awareness Group, being chaired by Southend police’s Det Chief Insp Lesley Ford, is still in the early stages of planning and it is not yet known which schools it will visit.
The details of the group were revealed in the quarterly report of Essex’s Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle.
It read: “The Sexual Safety Awareness Group has been set up to deliver a consistent message to young people regarding sexual safety. The agreed aims of the group include promoting sensible choices and responsible reporting.
“Support services include a referral to teenage pregnancy counsellors for teenagers who are engaging in, or considering engaging in, sexual activity.
“Responsible reporting is about encouraging young people to report acts of sexual violence against them, whilst at the same time explaining the consequences of making false reports to police and other services.”
Tracy Williams, 48, of Wakering Road, Shoebury, who has daughters aged 17 and 14, said: “I think a lot of teenagers are largely unaware of the dangers of some of the situations they can find themselves in.
“Parents should educate their daughters about these things, but sadly that doesn’t always happen, so this must be a good thing.
“I would want to see parents involved in this process, though.
“If social services and police are dealing with teenagers who are in trouble, then parents should be involved, rather than it all being done behind their backs.”
Yes indeedy, must stress the importance of those false allegations, even though they only make up only 2% of reported sexual crimes, and false reporting is the same rate (or actually LOWER) than many other crimes. But yeah, let’s focus on the 2%. Let’s also ignore that you are most likely to go to all the trouble of reporting the assault, perhaps even go through more trauma on the witness stand, and more likely than not, see your attacker skip merrily into the sunset. I bet they miss that part out.
Rape conviction rates have marginally crept up to 7% (2007) from 6.1% (2006), however, it is still very much a postcode lottery. Some areas have gone up, others down. View the 2006 map vs 2007 map of conviction rates. My particular county has dropped almost 25% in that period, from 4% to 3.1%. Hardly confidence inspiring in the local constabulary and criminal justice system. Let’s just say I won’t be writing home about the fact that my county is less than half the national average.
Indeed, the only bright spot on the newspaper page was the comment from a resident:
I hope this expands to boys also,
And teaches about peer pressure and that boys using emotional blackmail on young girls is wrong especially at a time when hormones and emotions could be all over the place.
Also about living with the consequences of such behaviour.
Excellent. Commonsense is not dead and buried. There might even be a stealthy underground feminist movement nearby!
So my comment to Essex Police is why you are focusing on the puny 2%, when 98% of rapists get away with it? Your track record of less than half the national average conviction rate is hardly anything to be proud of, nor very encouraging for victims to actually report the crime in the first place.
I think we should worry about the 2% of false reporting when your conviction rate at least significantly hits double digits, don’t you?
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I have added the table of the 2006-2007 comparisons. The Word document at Fawcett is badly formatted. I have ordered it in order of 2007 uselessness.