MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS: GMP's specialist sex crime unit - which investigates serious sexual offences including rapes - is to be disbanded

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 23/10/2017

Description

A 1,300-signature petition has been launched by volunteers from the charity Manchester Rape Crisis calling on the region’s mayor, Andy Burnham, to reverse it.

The charity’s chair Dr Sarah Darley, a Manchester university academic who specialises in health research, has already called on Andy Burnham earlier this year to make sexual violence a top priority.

“We are very concerned about the decision to close GMP’s serious sexual offences unit (SSOU),” she said.

“In Greater Manchester, reported rapes have doubled in the last two years and there continues to be a huge and rising demand on our services, as there is on similar organisations who support survivors of sexual violence across the region.

“The SSOU have said themselves that rape has an impact like no other crime - and we know the serious and crippling trauma that survivors can experience.

“In reporting to the police, survivors can feel like they are reliving that trauma all over again, so it is vital to have specially trained officers who understand the impact of sexual violence in order to support people coming forward to report these crimes. “Reporting rates are already incredibly low and taking away this specialist support we believe will lower rates further.”

Media contributions

TitleGMP's specialist sex crime unit - which investigates serious sexual offences including rapes - is to be disbanded
Media name/outletManchester Evening News
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date23/10/17
DescriptionA 1,300-signature petition has been launched by volunteers from the charity Manchester Rape Crisis calling on the region’s mayor, Andy Burnham, to reverse it.

The charity’s chair Dr Sarah Darley, a Manchester university academic who specialises in health research, has already called on Andy Burnham earlier this year to make sexual violence a top priority.

“We are very concerned about the decision to close GMP’s serious sexual offences unit (SSOU),” she said.

“In Greater Manchester, reported rapes have doubled in the last two years and there continues to be a huge and rising demand on our services, as there is on similar organisations who support survivors of sexual violence across the region.

“The SSOU have said themselves that rape has an impact like no other crime - and we know the serious and crippling trauma that survivors can experience.

“In reporting to the police, survivors can feel like they are reliving that trauma all over again, so it is vital to have specially trained officers who understand the impact of sexual violence in order to support people coming forward to report these crimes. “Reporting rates are already incredibly low and taking away this specialist support we believe will lower rates further.”
URLwww.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/gmps-specialist-sex-crime-unit-13802369
PersonsSarah Darley