Report highlights Northants Police errors in rape case

An independent investigation into police dealings with a woman who was later raped has concluded officers failed to recognise she was vulnerable.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) examined officers' interaction with the 22-year-old woman in Northampton before she was attacked.

Two officers started to help the woman but were called away.

The IPCC said it was pleased Northamptonshire Police had taken on board the recommendations it had made.

The woman left NBs nightclub on Bridge Street at about 0240 GMT on 20 February last year and was sitting by the side of the road, apparently unwell.

Ten police officers and five special constables were identified as having been on duty nearby.

'Not concerned'

The investigation established that most were dealing with other matters and, understandably, did not check on the woman's welfare.

Some assumed others were dealing with her, while other officers saw her talking on her phone and interacting with other members of the public and so were not particularly concerned, the report said.

Two police officers, a constable and a special constable, began to look after the woman but were then called to a road accident and left the area.

Shortly afterwards, a man approached the woman and took her to another part of the town where he raped her.

The IPCC said both officers had received "management action" from the force as a result of the investigation.

IPCC commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: "I am pleased that Northamptonshire Police has taken on board our recommendations about giving clear guidance to officers working on similar operations about dealing with unwell or vulnerable people.

"The force has also reported back to the IPCC to inform us that CCTV of this incident is now being used in the training and briefing of staff deployed on similar operations."

In March 2010 Nhlanhla Monyai, 31, was given an Indeterminate Public Protection (IPP) sentence after admitting three counts of rape and one of false imprisonment.

But in April this year Appeal Court judges changed the IPP to an eight-year jail sentence, ruling the assessment of Monyai as dangerous was not justified.

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