Detectives at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) will publicly admit that the force takes a soft approach on women who make false allegation of rape against men, on a BBC documentary to be broadcast this evening, says a report in The Guardian.
According to Detective Superintendant Jon Chadwick, who has been running GMP’s serious sexual offences unit (SSOU) since it opened in 2012, dozens of reports received by GMP turn out to be fabricated, but unlike other forces it has never prosecuted a woman for making a false allegation of rape.
GMP dealt with 1,802 rape cases in the past year and estimates that less than 3% (<54) were thought to be fabricated.
According to DCI Colin Larkin, a new “victim-focussed” approach taken by the SSOU can be “massively frustrating” when officers know that the person making the allegation is lying.
Larkin told the BBC: “We do get people making up allegations because they want to get their own back, for whatever reason. If A and B are courting and A has an affair with C, sometimes B will say that A has raped her … It’s not massively common but it isn’t uncommon either.”
Reported rapes on the rise
The upside of the “victim-focussed” approach is that GMP has seen a significant increase in the numbers of genuine victims who feel able to come forward. GMP recorded 737 rapes in 2011-2012, a figure that has more than doubled to 1,649 in just three years, with 40% of those reports being “historic”, meaning the alleged incident happened more than a year ago.
It isn’t just female victims who are more likely to come forward either. The number of men reporting rape more than doubled in the past 12 months, from 35 incidents to 84 incidents between April 2014 and April 2015. GMP suspect that a large number of crimes against men go unreported and are working with local charity, Survivors Manchester, to help more male victims to break the silence.
But while a victim-focussed approach which recognises that men and boys are victims of rape too is laudable, taking a soft approach on women who make false allegations of rape sends a very strong message that the law takes a softer line on female perpetrators and a harder line on male victims.
GMP admits that it is actively prosecuting a higher proportion of men accused of rape than other forces in the UK, while at the same time taking a softer approach to women who make false allegations. According to The Guardian, GMP has handed out "the odd fixed-penalty fine for wasting police time" and Chadwick's view is that it is better not to prosecute because "those making false reports have some sort of vulnerability".
A crime against men and boys
But making a false allegation is not just a crime against the police, it is also a crime against men and boys who are uniquely vulnerable to the impact of false allegations, which in extreme cases can lead to suicide and murder.
While conflicting statistics on the scale of the problem are hotly contested on the battleground of gender politics, we should be in no doubt that false allegations happen and are overwhelmingly directed at men by women.
Estimates of the proportion of allegations of rape that are false range from 0.6%, a statistic favoured by some feminists keen to downplay the problem, to the much higher 50% figure favoured by some anti-feminists keen to grab hold of any statistic that puts women in the worst possible light.
GMP deserves credit, but taking a proactive approach to helping more women and men who have been raped to get justice---but this shouldn't come at the expense of men who have been wrongly accused of rape by women.
How about being tough on rape and tough of false allegations of rape?
---Picture Credit: Stock Monkeys
Article by Glen Poole author of the book Equality For Men
Also on insideMAN:
- Yes Means Yes: are men accused of rape guilty until proven innocent?
- It's thanks to women and girls I'm able to help male survivors
- Why do women make false rape allegations?
- Time for men to be given anonymity in rape cases?
- Should Ched Evans rape conviction stop him playing football?
- Kangaroo courts on campus: how rape culture is undermining due process