A piece in today’s Telegraph. The paper’s ludicrous feminist-friendly headline is “Rape victims will no longer face digital strip searches”.
Police will only be allowed to download relevant information from victims’ phones, in move aimed at halting fall in rape charging rates
Rape victims will no longer face so-called digital ‘strip searches‘ under new Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance banning police from trawling irrelevant material.
Police and prosecutors will only be allowed to download relevant information from a phone in pursuit of a “reasonable” line of inquiry and they should no longer automatically assume they need to search it. [J4MB emphasis: A move designed to pervert the course of justice, leading to innocent men being convicted and sent to prison, in line with feminists’ wishes.]
Requesting phones in cases of so-called ‘stranger’ rapes or where police are investigating historical sexual allegations will also be effectively banned.
The move is aimed at helping to reverse rape charging rates which have fallen in the past five years from 8.3 per cent of offences to just 1.5 per cent.
The proportion of victims withdrawing from prosecutions has doubled from 20 per cent to more than 40 per cent in the same period, largely due to intrusive police investigations into their digital communications, lengthy court delays, and the trauma of reliving their attack in court.
The shake up will also require prosecutors and police to take more account of a rape victim’s trauma to stop them misinterpreting inconsistencies in a victim’s memory of an attack as evidence of an unreliable witness rather than a consequence of the emotional stress.
The guidance recommends an “offender-centric approach” to building a case to ensure police and prosecutors are not unduly focused on testing the validity of a victim and instead concentrate on the actions and behaviour of the alleged attacker.
Claire Waxman, London’s victims’ commissioner, welcomed it as “encouraging progress.”
“For too long, evidence of trauma, such as inconsistencies in memory, has been misinterpreted as victims being unreliable and has wrongly influenced charging decisions,” she said.
“Sadly, I know that some victims can find themselves subject to disproportionate scrutiny, and are left feeling like they are the one on trial.”
The new guidance comes ahead of the Government’s rape review which will extend the use of pre-recorded evidence by victims to spare them the trauma of appearing in court and a requirement that victims’ phones should be returned within 24 hours.
It states that “digital material should only be reviewed in pursuit of a reasonable line of enquiry” and that there should be “no presumption that a complainant or witness’s mobile telephone or other devices should be inspected, retained or downloaded”.
“If there is a reasonable line of enquiry, the investigators should consider whether the digital material can be reviewed without taking possession of the device,” it continues.
“If a more extensive enquiry is necessary, the contents of the device should be downloaded with the minimum inconvenience to the complainant and, if possible, returned without any unnecessary delay.”
When reviewing the digital material, the investigator is also required to consider whether it would be sufficient to view “limited categories of data, such as an identified string of messages/emails or a limited period”.
Police and prosecutors will be expected to keep the victim informed of what is extracted and what is being examined.
They still reserve the right to seek an order to obtain a phone if a victim refuses, provided it is to pursue a reasonable line of inquiry.
If material is deleted by the victim or they refuse to hand over the phone, a judgement would have to be made about whether a suspect could get a fair trial.
Siobhan Blake, CPS lead for rape prosecutions, said: “At the CPS, we are determined to reverse the drop in rape and sexual offence cases going to court. [J4MB emphasis – what better evidence of feminist corruption of the CPS could we ask for? The spirit of Alison Saunders is alive and well in the organisation.] Too few victims are seeing justice, and we want to change that…we are committed to improving every aspect of how [cases] are handled.
“Giving our expert prosecutors the tools they need to build strong cases is at the heart of that effort, and this new guidance will help support their decision-making and challenge emerging myths and stereotypes.”
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