Rape arrests: Campaigner says detention without investigation does rape victims a disservice

Campaigner says arrests without investigating does rape victims a disservice

Jill Saward spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer about the policy

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Campaigner Jill Saward has insisted that rape suspects have to be investigated first before an arrest is made. 

This follows the discovery that the head of the National Crime Agency, Lynne Owens, told her officers to "arrest first, investigate later" during her tenure as the Chief Constable of Surrey Police. 

Saward, a victim of rape herself who campaigns and supports other victims, didn't share this view.

"I think the policy Lynne adopted was wrong," she told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "I think there are a lot of cases where you have to do some level of investigation. 

"You do victims a disservice by going ahead like a bull in a china shop because you want to get conviction rates up, if you're not serving the purpose in question. 

"It could be there are a lot of people who might want to come forward, but everything's happening so fast there isn't time for justice to be served properly. 

"There's got to be a better way to do it than assume someone is guilty right from the word go and just act on it. You have to investigate."