London

Three Met officers warned over handling of rape cases

Three Metropolitan Police officers have been given written warnings over the "unprofessional and insensitive manner" in which they handled two rape reports.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the women were given negative information about the chances of a conviction and medical examinations.

The officers worked in the Southwark Sapphire team at the time in May 2009.

The victims initially withdrew their reports as a result, the IPCC said.

The IPCC said the women, referred to as Miss B and Miss A, took back their cases after being given misleading and inaccurate information.

Examination wait

The women reported they had been raped, in separate incidents, within 24 hours of each other.

Deborah Glass, the IPCC Commissioner for London, said: "Victims of sexual violence should be treated with sensitivity, respect and professionalism.

"This plainly did not happen the first time two women came forward to report their allegations.

"The Metropolitan Police cannot be complacent in this area and must ensure that the officers who respond to victims earn their trust at the outset."

Two of the officers were trainee detective constables while the other was a detective constable.

One of the trainee detective constables, who added comments to the original statement of one of the women without her consent, was subsequently found to have committed gross misconduct and handed a final written warning, the IPCC said.

Report withdrawn

Miss B reported the attack to a female officer on 22 May 2009 before speaking to two male officers, who told her there was a 5% chance of a conviction and gave her inaccurate details about the medical exam.

She left the station believing she had no case and signed a statement which said she had consensual sex. It was written by one of the trainee detective constables, the IPCC said.

Staff at a sexual referral centre advised her to make a complaint.

Miss A, who was on holiday in England, was also kept at the station for hours after reporting the rape for an examination.

Later she faced an interview with two officers but a friend was not allowed to accompany her.

An officer told her that "something terrible had happened to her that night, but that it did not necessarily mean that it was enough to convict the suspect," the IPCC said.

Miss A also withdrew her report but filed a complaint later.

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