This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

No Yes Means No

I've blogged about rape repeatedly over the years.  It nearly always results in a fairly heated debate.  A lot of men (and probably some women) think that if you are female, support Rape Crisis, and emphatically state that rape is under-reported and under-convicted, you must be a man-hating, blinkered feminist who is blind to the reality of false rape reports. 
Now the DPP is announcing measures to tackle two key rape myths, both of which I have blogged about before.  The core of the measure is placing an onus on the defendant to prove, if it is an issue of consent, that the victim consented.  This could be construed as effectively making it the defendant's job to prove their innocence, which would fundamentally oppose the essence of the British Criminal Justice system.
I don't believe it does that.  I am female, I donate my book royalties to Rape Crisis, and I believe our national record on rape is pretty woeful.  I don't hate men, and I've dealt with more than one false allegation of rape.  (I've also dealt with dozens of genuine ones.)  I therefore like to think I am fairly rational about the whole subject, not that that is for me to judge.
I support the new measures.  I don't think they are likely to make a huge difference, as I don't believe there is ever really any confusion in a man's mind over whether his actions are consented to.  Which is why I don't think this measure is asking someone to prove their own innocence in an unfair way.  If he's lying about consent, he will lie about how he knew she was consenting, and it may be equally hard to prove.  But it's one more way he'll have to craft his story, and therefore one more chance to show a jury he's not telling the truth if it doesn't add up.
It remains to be seen whether the rape conviction rate will rise, if that's even a sensible way of measuring success on this issue (a whole other debate).  But this blinkered feminist is glad to hear about it all the same.

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Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


Anonymous Ben said...

" I support the new measures. I don't think they are likely to make a huge difference"

No, they're not. Pretty much says it all. Some window dressing? Yes please! Substance? Not needed...

I don't want to sound too jubilant. I really do appreciate you taking the time to give a real picture of your job. But...

Awaited: Lots of appeals because the interview was "oppressive".

You know it's going to happen.. but you support it? I mean, do you really think that the courts will accept that? The prosecution is Arsenal, the defence, Accrington Stanley (milk-moustache "egzakkly"). The Judge is the referee. the monosyllabic defendant can't explain why he thought the smiling (disputed by the prosecution) woman consented... R v Bree...

Point conceded: You've dealt with one acknowledged false allegation, which is one more than you were willing to acknowledge in 2010... Which is nice....

But... are disputed cases of no interest to you?... Have you no sons? Or nephews? Or don't even your friends have any sons or nephews? OK one! Can they really cope with the world that you imagine is normal?

Feminism is radical proposition that men are people too.

(Sorry, did I misquote that?)

30 January, 2015 00:59

Blogger PC Bloggs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January, 2015 07:02

Anonymous shijuronotgeorgedixon said...

I have a problem in the way the gov sees women the main as victims...

Two drunk people have sex, one is a woman- says, "I didn't give full consent..." so, it's a rape...

...the man then says, "well I was drunk too...and I didn't give consent either..."

Should create some interesting court...

31 January, 2015 22:51

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting piece.
One of the main reasons rape allegations are NFAd and convictions in the UK are low, is due to the fact a huge percentage of initial allegations are false.
In twelve years of working in Central London I have never dealt with a bona fide rape. . . Conversely I have been involved with countless spurious complaints. Most of these made by prostitutes who haven't been paid. . . It is not difficult to see how the 'figures' can be easily skewed.
It's a sorry state of affairs, but resources despatched to deal with these false reports could be much better utilized in tending to genuine victims.

31 January, 2015 23:26

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I had a case where the jury were told 'consent is not an issue' because he didn't claim consent, he claimed it never happened. His DNA was found in her vagina. Jury acquitted. In my opinion all rapes, SSOs and complex frauds should be tried by 3,judges. Juries are too stupid to be trusted with something so important.

01 February, 2015 07:36

Anonymous shijuronotgeorgedixon said...

Shijuro is back BTW!!!

thanks Ellie!

01 February, 2015 10:22

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think juries are a lot brighter than they are given credit for. When presented with a rape case that is essentially one persons word against another are they going to find a defendant guilty and have him put away for perhaps 7 years or err on the side of caution and acquit. Not an easy choice but I can see why there are so few convictions.

28 February, 2015 22:46

Blogger Ciaran Goggins said...

You may well block this but one hopes you will read it. Rape is the easiest crime about which to lie. As Harlan Pierce said "Much of what is termed rape is Buyers Remorse". Now I'd like to talk statistics. Oooh Matron. False rape allegations? 1%? 3%? 9%? 10%? 33%?
Following R v Evans & McDonald (Clayton acquitted) and Nigel Evans MP plus Ben Sullivan of Oxford someone has taken to naming and shaming false rape accusers. Remember, in a de facto police state such as Britain you can only arrest and jail those in yer own jurisdiction. A degree in German History 1914-1945 is a useful thing.

11 March, 2015 20:13

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if these mesures do make a big diffrence, but not so much in courts? Perhaps the actual value of this is that it may encorage people to view consent in much better way.

I dissagree with the idea that the attacker always understands what they are doing - people are morons, and often are very bad at empathising. Its a good idea to make it very clear that explicit consent is needed everytime.

16 December, 2015 20:40


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