Posted on October 21, 2009
Following on from this comment from damagedoor which I’ve copied here from the last thread:
“This is, I know, totally the wrong place to post this, so Cath, please feel free to delete, move or ignore as appropriate, but I was wondering if you saw The Force last night?
It’s a series of three documentaries following real-life police investigations. The first was a murder investigation. Last night’s was about rape. Both have been very good, in their way, but last night’s concerned me a little overall. It (very roughly) followed three investigations. Again roughly, ten minutes were devoted to a clear-cut case that was charged, ten minutes to a case that was dropped (but appeared genuine), and forty minutes to a claim that turned out, in the end, to be malicious and false.
I’m someone who might question statistics but has no doubt that false rape claims are a tiny fraction of the whole. So I’m not posting this ‘mischieviously’. I thought it was – to say the least – oddly balanced as a programme. Did you catch it, and, if so, what did you think? Genuinely interested.”
I’ve just watched the programme he’s referring to.
And yes, I agree it was very oddly balanced, with most of the programme being devoted to the investigation of what turned out to be a false claim, and only a passing mention of the other two cases. I was also interested to see how despite the success of Portsmouth’s Crystal Unit, the first dedicated specialist rape unit outside of London, there seemed to be a distinct lack of will from senior managers and others within the force to keep the unit going beyond its 6 month trial period.
Anyway, here’s the link to last night’s programme. It’s just short of an hour long, so if you’ve got time to watch it I’d be really interested to hear your views:
Didn’t see it but kept seeing the trailer and it did seem to over-emphasis the “she’s lying to us!” bit.
Also seemed like it was going to be presented as entertainment more than as a serious documentary.
I did not see it but I did see the trailer. The trailer convinced me not to watch it since the whole thing seemed quite focused on a false rape claim. I didn’t think that my blood pressure could take watching a whole hour of that (although I later heard that the programme also followed on 2 other cases).
Quite cowardly, I know.
I will perhaps watch it tonight.
Likewise I too did not view programme but I was repeatedly subjected to trailer which focused on police officer saying something along the lines of ‘what else is she lying about.’
Fact: the percentage of false allegations for rape has remained for decades now at between 2-9% which is almost the same number as those recorded for fraudulent car insurance claims.
Given most acts of male violence against women are never reported to the police, I fail to see why this programme had to focus on one isolated case involving a false allegation of rape.
Remember the Worboys and Reid cases wherein a number of women had reported to police a man had raped and/or sexually assaulted them. What happened? Why many of these women were dismissed as non-credible because they had dared to consume alcohol prior to the alleged male raping/sexually assaulting them.
Now 14 metropolitan police officers could face disciplinary action and possible prosecution for failing to thoroughly investigate these women’s reports.
But the BBC apparently considers one case of false allegation of rape, should have been given more air time than the other two rape cases which were thoroughly investigated and resulted in males being prosecuted for rape.
What message does this send to the general viewer? Why it reinforces misogynistic perceptions that ‘real rape’ only occurs when a deranged male stranger attacks an innocent virginal female.
Well done BBC for your continuing misogyny.
And I will keep on repeating this. Ian Huntley had 5 allegations of rape (and another 4 of underage sex) made against him before he murdered two ten year old girls. None got to court. Most were dropped on the advice of police/CPS because they didn’t think there was enough evidence.
Jennifer. I agree with what you’re saying, but you can’t blame the Beeb this time, this was Channel 4
“Fact: the percentage of false allegations for rape has remained for decades now at between 2-9% which is almost the same number as those recorded for fraudulent car insurance claims. ”
My area of expertise.
One doesn’t talk like that in the insurance industry and in the oil industry you are not supposed to guess anything.
There is far too much alcohol in the thing you are estimating for anybody to know for sure using terms like ‘false’.
With ‘malicious’ you might have a better chance.