London

Metropolitan Police nightclub anti-rape strategy criticised

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Media captionThe Met has faced criticism over recent high profile failings to investigate rape cases properly

A women's campaign group has criticised a police strategy to use licensing laws to shut down nightclubs where repeated sexual assault allegations are made.

The Metropolitan Police initiative is part of a new strategy to help prevent rape in London.

Det Ch Supt Mick Duthie, of the Met's sex crime unit, said the strategy would "make sure fewer" people "are raped".

But campaign group Women Against Rape said closing down pubs and clubs "was not justice for rape".

There were 1,444 reported rapes in London between April and September this year, a 15.7% decrease compared with the same period last year.

Under the new strategy, the Met said it would:

  • Close down pubs and clubs where there have been a high number of reported rapes and assaults
  • Use covert tactics to target men who are suspected sex offenders but have never been convicted
  • Launch a prevention campaign to change men's behaviour and ensure women reduce their vulnerability

Det Ch Supt Duthie, of the Met's Sapphire Unit, said: "I want to make sure the incidents of rape are reduced.

"That is why we are introducing a prevention strategy to make sure fewer men and women are raped."

But Women Against Rape spokeswoman Lisa Longstaff said: "We don't want the scattergun approach where they do surveillance on our whole communities, where they're closing pubs and clubs.

"That's not justice for rape.

"We want men prosecuted for the crimes they've committed, which we've reported."

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