Police fingered in rape cover-up

LONDON — Victims of rape were “encouraged” by police to retract allegations to boost detection rates, a report has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said a south London sex crime unit had its own “standard operating procedure” to cut the number of rapes officially recorded as crimes.

The IPCC said the Southwark Sapphire squad’s approach of “failing to believe victims” was “wholly inappropriate”.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said substantial changes had been made.

The IPCC has carried out four previous inquiries into Southwark Sapphire command and it is the police watchdog’s ninth investigation into the Met’s response to victims of sexual violence.

But three Metropolitan officers who had been facing possible dismissal over a previous bungled investigation into the serial sex offender Kirk Reid, were still with the force.

Two of them, a superintendent and a detective inspector, have been promoted.

IPCC Deputy Chair Deborah Glass said it was “enormously frustrating”.

A detective sergeant is facing disciplinary proceedings for alleged gross misconduct in connection with the allegations. (BBC)

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