Predatory police are targeting victims of crimeTagged as: gender police rape sexual_abuse
The Guardian newspaper recently published an article highlighting the extent of sexual abuse committed by police officers and PCSOs. Recent research suggests that the problem "more widespread than previously believed" and that the police are using their position of authority and access to records to target victims of crime to commit rape and sexual assault. The report highlights a number of cases within Nottinghamshire.
According to the article:
"Police officers have been convicted or disciplined for a range of offences from rape and sexual assault to misconduct in public office relating to inappropriate sexual behaviour with vulnerable women they have met on duty. Others are awaiting trial for alleged offences, though many are never charged with a criminal offence and are dealt with via internal disciplinary procedures."
It seems that abuse of power for sex is rife within the police force and that the perpetrators are protected by a culture of silence and lenient "internal disciplinary procedures" rather than criminal prosecution and expulsion from the force.
It is predominantly women who are targeted by these rapists, but also children of both sexes and in particular, vulnerable victims of crime.
Interestingly the report found evidence of "A tendency for women who complain they have been sexually attacked by a policeman not to be believed" and "A pervasive culture of sexism within the police service, which some claim allows abusive behaviour to go unchecked." In other words, the police have a tendency to see things from the perpetrator's viewpoint rather than the survivor's. Claire Phillipson of Wearside Women in Need goes further:
"What you have here is the untouched tip of an iceberg in terms of sexually questionable behaviour and attitudes. The police service, in my experience, has an incredibly macho culture and women are seen as sexual objects."
In "one of the worst cases in the past four years", Detective Sergeant Trevor Gray of Nottinghamshire Police broke into the house of a woman and raped her whilst her child slept in the house. He was jailed for 8 years last month. Readers of this site may also remember Inspector Russell Dew, who was jailed for 6 years in December 2011 for sexually touching a 13 year old girl. PC Darren Lawson, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting children, was also a Nottinghamshire copper. These are just the cases that made it to court. It seems highly likely, given the lack of accountability and the culture of patriarchy and silence within the police force that many other offenders have got away with it.
Nottinghamshire, in particular, seems to have lax disciplinary procedures, to the extent that Police Federation spokesman, Steve Evans has said "I know which forces I'd rather be in if I was in trouble. What is gross misconduct, and therefore a sacking offence in Derby might be simple misconduct in Nottingham."
The fact of the matter is that no kind of reform will stop this disgusting behaviour. The police have been given a huge amount of power over members of the public, especially the vulnerable, and will always be tempted to use it for their own ends. They will always be hugely loyal to their own and seek to use their own privilege to protect one another. Whilst this hierarchy of a highly armed and legally empowered police force lording it over the rest of us continues, sexual and other kinds of abuse are bound to continue, largely uncovered.