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Report 7 of the 11 Apr 02 meeting of the Professional Standards and Performance Monitoring Committee and discusses the MPA Rape Scrutiny Report, a performance scrutiny carried out by the Authority on the subject of rape investigation and victim care.

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Scrutiny Report – rape investigation and victim care

Report: 07
Date: 11 April 2002
By: Clerk


The attached report (see Supporting material) shows the findings from the MPA scrutiny into rape investigation and victim care. Members are asked to support the recommendations made and to agree to receive a further implementation plan at the June Professional Standards and Performance Monitoring Committee (PSPM) meeting.

A. Recommendation

  1. members note and comment up on the attached report of the scrutiny into rape investigation and victim care;
  2. members agree the recommendations made in the report, subject to appropriate financial provision being made; and
  3. members agree to receive an implementation plan in June for the recommendations made and to monitor this plan on a six monthly basis.

B. Supporting information

1. At the July 2001 PSPM meeting the committee agreed to carry out two or three in-depth scrutinies each year into MPS performance. The first scrutiny was agreed by the committee as a scrutiny into MPS performance in rape investigation and victim care. The project started in September 2001 and was completed in March 2002. The attached report shows the findings of the scrutiny panel.

2. The attached report makes 38 recommendations. The most important findings are:

Direct service provision

  • Officers first responding to victims need to be trained in victim care.
  • Specialist sexual offence investigation officers need the correct level of training, management and support as part of dedicated teams and codes of conduct should be developed.
  • The contracts for Sexual Offence Examiners, and their availability and quality of service provided improved.
  • There should be pan-London coverage of Sexual Assault Referral Centres providing holistic victim care and the use of Victim Examination Suites should be phased out.
  • Victims should be provided with appropriate and validated counselling.
  • Links should be improved with the Crown Prosecution Service and victims should be better apprised of court systems.

Structures and systems

  • Rape investigation and victim care should have clear chief officer leadership and be a part of core MPS business.
  • All boroughs should be covered by dedicated sexual offence teams.
  • The Independent Advisory Group for sexual offences should be further consulted by the MPS.
  • Performance monitoring for rape cases should be enhanced through better measures and victim surveys.
  • Measures to address MPS cultures and myths surrounding rape cases should be taken.

Specific crime types and victim groups

  • The investigation of child cases of stranger sex offences should move to the Child Protection Team.
  • Children should generally not be taken to Sexual Assault Referral Centres.
  • Further research is required into cases of gang rape.
  • Child traffickers should receive stronger sentences and the victims should receive more support.
  • The MPS should continue preventative campaigns for drug and mini-cab rape.

3. The panel also proposes that the MPA should monitor the progress against the recommendations made. An implementation plan will be provided at the June 2002 PSPM meeting and will be monitored on a six monthly basis.

C. Financial implications

1. Many of the recommendations made will involve staff and opportunity costs in reviewing, training and restructuring. These will be discussed further in the implementation plan.

2. Recommendation 14 involves the development of two new Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) similar to the current Haven in Camberwell. This would require the Authority to agree a growth bid for the 2003/4 budget. The estimated costs of two new SARCs is £1.1 million, although partnership funding with the NHS is currently being sought.

D. Background papers


E. Contact details

Report authors: Johanna Gillians, MPA.

For information contact:

MPA general: 020 7202 0202
Media enquiries: 020 7202 0217/18

Supporting material

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