Police ordered to re-examine handling of alleged rape victim's complaints

19 March 2018, 12:20

PIRC

Police have been ordered to provide further information over claims that a detective told an an alleged rape victim "If you've got it, flaunt it" and "We've all done it - woke up in the morning with regret".

Complaints were made that a sexual offences liaison officer made inappropriate and offensive comments to the alleged victim, constantly spoke over her and that the response on the night of the incident was "inappropriate and insufficient".

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) has made three recommendations to Police Scotland about how these allegations were handled, ordering further statements and inquiries to be carried out.

It comes after a detective who first looked into the complaints responded: "In your statement you allege that Detective Constable G made a number of inappropriate and offensive comments to you including 'If you've got it flaunt it, eh?', 'We've all done it - woke up in the morning with regret' and 'Having a liking for the driver'.

"You further indicate that, during further dealings with Detective Constable G, you (sic) told you to 'stop talking' and to 'be quiet'.

"You also state that she asked you 'Hello ... are you in there?' and she informed you that you 'shouldn't switch off'.

"You also indicate Detective Constable G spoke over the top of you on a number of occasions."

The response added that the "offensive" comments were "appropriate in the context of the wider conversation" as part of efforts to build some rapport and being talked over was "justified and proportionate" due to the behaviour of the alleged victim.

On May 1 2016, the alleged victim had been had been on a night out with a friend before they got into what they said they thought was a taxi.

The man driving the vehicle then picked up another man before being involved in a road accident.

Emergency services attended the scene before taking the two women to hospital so they could arrange to get home safely.

Two days later, the applicant telephoned police saying that she had been raped by the two men but, on May 12 2016, it was deemed that any contact was "consensual" and no crime was committed.

Complaints were then made to Police Scotland about how the incident had been handled.

In relation to the alleged inappropriate comments, the watchdog said: "It is recommended that Detective Constable G is asked to provide a further statement that specifically addresses whether she made the comments highlighted by the applicant or used similar wording during their meeting of May 4 2016.

"A further statement should also be recorded from Constable J that specifically addresses whether she recalls Detective Constable G making any of the comments as alleged by the applicant.

"A further response should then be issued to the applicant that assesses 'on balance' whether the comments as alleged by the applicant were made during the meeting.

"The further response should also assess whether any comments made were appropriate under the circumstances.

"It should also clearly explain any decision reached about the outcome of the complaint."

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said: "We have received this complaint handling review from Pirc and are now in the process of assessing and taking the appropriate actions regarding the recommendations made within the review. We will respond to Pirc within their required timescale."