As police numbers falter, the time needed for investigations is increasing dramatically.
In the recent case in England, 22 year old Liam Allen had rape and sexual assault charges against him dropped after evidence was found in text messages of his accuser. His lawyer had spent many hours going through the downloads of text messages from the phone of the female accuser. There were approximately 40,000 text messages.
Questions are being asked as to why the police delayed handing over the downloads of messages and why they had not found the messages which cleared Mr Allen.
There are 19,000 less police officers in England and Wales than there were 7 years ago. During these seven years the use of text messages, snapchat and other means of electronic communication have exploded. Does any police force have the wherewithal to set aside a single officer for 2 days purely to go through text messages? Not with the Government cutting their funding to the bone they don’t. That is what it would have taken for the police to find the same information that Liam Allen’s defence lawyer did.
That the police are now having to re examine other cases has brought about calls for police to stop believing women who accuse men of rape. Or to put it another way, stop believing women who were raped. What of the rest of over 10,000 sexual offences prosecuted on a yearly basis?
It is dreadful that an innocent man has had his life turned upside down by false accusations. To prevent this in the future, we need more police available to fully examine evidence and ensure a prosecution is the right way forward.
What we do not need is to go back in time to when sexual offences were an acceptable part of daily life and police to ignore them.