For probably the first time, I am in almost complete agreement with David Cameron on the announcements he made today about the appalling conviction rates we have in this country when it comes to rape cases.
What makes the figures even worse is the large number of unreported rapes where people don't go to the police because they know that the chance of a convictions is negligible.
I had a close friend who was raped whilst at University. She was brave enough to tell her friends, but as a student of law, she knew that the amount of evidence in her case meant that a conviction was virtually impossible. It was devastating for her and had a profound affect on us as her friends. She never told us who it was that did this to her, all we knew was he was a student on her law course, which of course made it worse because he knew he was going to get away with it.
There is also a problem with the seriousness with which the police treat sex crimes of this sort. I heard on radio Five Live earlier about a woman whose daughter was raped. the police said they had a cast iron case based on mobile phone evidence. When they turned up in court, the police had made an error and had never kept the mobile phone evidence meaning the case fell apart. When this sort of thing happens, how can anyone trust the police ?
One issue I would have liked to see Cameron address in his speech was the issue of male rape. i have seen statistics before which show that male rape goes almost completely unreported but is much more common than the statistics suggest. Rape is a crime who ever it is perpetrated against and should be treated more seriously in all cases.
The one thing though that worried me about what Cameron said was his quoting of statistics. You see, David Cameron has a history of completely making statistics and facts up out of thin air. So when he said that 50% of young males think they could get away with rape, I have to wonder if this was a soundbite just made up on the spot or genuine and real factual evidence that he can back up. And that, for me sums up the problem with Cameron. His lies and the glib way he makes things up weaken the message when he has something important to say.