Women's groups disappointed at MPs' recommendation for rape suspect anonymity
20 March 2015
Responding to the publication today (20 March) of the Home Affairs Select Committee short inquiry report on police bail, which makes a recommendation of anonymity for suspects of sexual offences until charge, and which also misrepresents 'false allegations', the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:
“We are disappointed that the Home Affairs Select Committee is recommending anonymity for those accused of sexual offences.
“We oppose any making of special exceptions for those accused of sexual offences as to other offences. Rape is a known repeat offence, and the police may need the discretion to name a suspect for investigative purposes. Decision-making on this should of course be clear and transparent.
“It is notable that this short report by the Home Affairs Select Committee makes little reference to the specific justice issues around sexual offences before making this serious recommendation on anonymity. These include very low reporting to the police rates, vulnerable witnesses, and the fact that rape is a known repeat offence.
“The report is also alarmingly incorrect about false allegations – recommending that those accused and not convicted should receive “acknowledgement that they were falsely accused” when such cases are not necessarily based on a false allegation.”