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The Perpetrators of Rape Need to Feel the Full Force of the Law

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The recent rape of a jogger in London's Regent's Park at 7am was shocking enough, but the fact that the police did not alert other park users that there was a rapist in the area makes this even worse. This failure by the @MetPoliceUK put people at risk and completely undermines the public's confidence in the police.

I want to pay tribute to the good citizen who brought this lack of action on the part of the Met to the public's attention. Over my years of working with these kinds of crime I have found that it is when the victim, their family or community members come forward that action is taken. This shouldn't be the case, all incidents like this should be dealt with by the police in a robust manner, leaving no stone unturned to find the perpetrator. The Met is already struggling with extremely poor victim confidence levels and these kinds of crucial mistakes do not help. I'm calling on the Met to investigate why notice wasn't given to park users and to make sure that this kind of mistake does not happen again.

Victim satisfaction in London is rated amongst the poorest in the country. According to the latest Met Police figures, 74% of victims were satisfied with the service they received - this places London 43rd out of 43 forces nationally.

After five years of steady decline, over the four years of Boris Johnson's first term as Mayor of London rape has risen by 75% - from 1,904 reported offences in 2007-8 to 3,334 rape offences in 2011-12. Crime statistics are always difficult to analyse and rape statistics even more so, is an increase due to more offences being reported, or is the increase due to more incidents occurring? However, at City Hall's Police and Crime Committee meeting on 2 February this year, the Met's new Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, expressed doubt that an increase in reported crimes was due solely to more victims coming forward and reporting the crimes. In other words, the number of incidents is almost certainly on the rise.

As a society we need to confront rape and stamp it out, the perpetrators need to feel the full force of the law and the shockingly low conviction rates need to be dramatically increased. The police have a crucial role to play, they need to treat these issues with the utmost seriousness. The newly created Mayor's Office for Policing & Crime (MOPC) (which is responsible for running the Met) need to lead from the front on this, it is worrying that when a member of the public tried to raise this issue with them the email they sent 'bouced back' because the MOPC's inbox was full. Such a lack of attention to detail is worrying.