Sir Peter Fahy is kicking victims in the teeth, says Simon Danczuk MP
Date published: 15 October 2014
Simon Danczuk MP
Yesterday the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) told ITV news it would be “misleading” to think the police could solve the problem of children being sexually abused in my constituency of Rochdale and elsewhere in Greater Manchester.
When I heard Sir Peter Fahy’s words, in what was yet another car crash interview, I could almost feel the last vestiges of hope drain away from victims of serious rape that I’ve been trying to support. It goes without saying that their confidence has already taken a huge battering, but many victims of abuse cling to one hope; that the law will catch up with those who committed these evil crimes.
On the 10 o’clock news last night that hope was cynically dashed as Sir Peter effectively threw in the towel and admitted that GMP were losing the fight against paedophiles. He not only conceded that paedophiles were running rings around the police but went on to bizarrely announce that all too often the only way they could tackle grooming gangs was to take away their taxi licence.
This hopeless approach just adds insult to injury to victims and shows a terrible devaluation of rape crimes. I’ve known for some time about GMP’s approach to child abuse, because other officers have told me about it. But here was Sir Peter actually admitting it on live television. It’s called the ‘disruption technique’ and it means upsetting criminals’ businesses and letting them know that police are on to them in a hope to dissuade them from continuing to commit crimes.
It might work in some cases, but, from what I know, it doesn’t work with paedophiles because they just carry on abusing until they’re either caught and locked up, or drop dead. So what we’re seeing across Manchester are serious rapists being charged with taxi offences or being hassled for selling the wrong cigarettes from their newsagent.
Just think about that for a second. Imagine the courage it must take a teenage rape victim to go to the police and relive their ordeal in order to get police to intervene and bring rapists to justice. Imagine once they’ve been interviewed, gone through every graphic detail and clung to the single hope that officers will act on their information. Months pass and then, finally, they get a phone call. ‘Ms Jones? It’s Greater Manchester Police here. We’ve got your rapist. You’ll be pleased to hear we’ve taken his taxi licence.’
Is this seriously what passes for justice in GMP where rape crimes are concerned?
Sir Peter is sending out a dreadful message and effectively admitting that the rapists have won. Not only that, he’s compromising the safety of young people, demeaning serious crimes and emboldening rapists.
Child abuse is getting worse under Sir Peter’s watch and it’s becoming clearer every week that he’s not up to the job. As the MP for Rochdale, part of my job is representing victims of abuse and doing all I can to get the law working for them to get rapists off the streets.
As long as Sir Peter remains in post I’m not convinced that the law is working for the most vulnerable – and that has to change.
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