'No crime' rape claims to be investigated

Northumbria Police is re-investigating 54 rape cases after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) identified they'd been incorrectly recorded as "no crime".

Live updates

Man charged with rape after 'no crime' rape claims investigated

A Northumberland man has been charged with rape following a rape investigation that was re-opened by Northumbria police as part of the internal enquiry into the 'no-criming' of rape allegations.

Lee David Hume, who is 43, and from Collingwood Grange area of Cramlington has been charged with one count of rape and three counts of assault.

He will appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates Court on Saturday October 11.

Read More: More than 60 'no crime' rape claims to be investigated

More than 60 'no crime' rape claims to be investigated

More than 60 rape cases have been reopened after two of the region's police forces admitted they may have incorrectly decided no crime had taken place.

Northumbria and Cleveland police are looking into whether officers investigated the reports of rape properly before deciding to drop them.

Northumbria has informed 48 of its officers that they will be investigated for gross misconduct - although at this stage there is no assumption any of them will be found guilty.

Dan Ashby reports:

Advertisement

Cleveland Police to reopen 14 rape cases

Cleveland Police is reopening 14 rape cases which were wrongly classed as "no crime" by officers.

Earlier it was confirmed Northumbria Police are looking into 54 rapes out of 153 cases which were incorrectly listed as "no crime".

In August, Cleveland Police was criticised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary over how it measured rape reports after it found 38 out of 84 incidents were incorrectly recorded.

"Police will learn the lessons" - Vera Baird

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has responded to the announcement 54 rape cases are to be re-opened.

This is after a recent audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found some reports of rape in the North East may have been incorrectly recorded as "no crime".

Vera Baird says the force took immediate action, acting before the publication of the report, and are the only force which has taken such a strong stance on the issue, though many forces have far higher rates of 'no criming' than Northumbria.

"The action being taken is right and will get to the root of the issues and I am confident that progress is being made and victims are being dealt with sensitively and appropriately.

“I am continuing to monitor the situation closely and receive weekly updates from the Chief Constable. Where mistakes have been made and, all the more if there has been any falling short of duty, the police will learn the lessons. The Chief Constable and I are determined to ensure the service offered to victims of serious sexual crime is of the very highest standard.”

– Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner

54 rape cases to be re-investigated

Northumbria Police has re-opened 54 rape cases for further investigation. It follows an audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which showed some rape cases may have been incorrectly recorded as 'no crime'.

The Chief Constable of Northumbria ordered further checks to be made on all such reports since October 2011. A team of experienced officers looked at 153 cases and have decided 54 require further investigation.

"Each case will be reinvestigated by the review team. This will include contacting the victims in these identified cases and our main priority is to support them through this process.

“We are progressing this speedily but thoroughly, mindful of the impact this can have on victims when we speak to them again about their experiences.

“I want to reassure anyone reporting such crimes to us that we will listen to them, take them seriously, investigate thoroughly and bring offenders to justice whenever we can.”

– Superintendent Neil Adamson

48 officers who were involved in the cases identified in the audit, and those who supervised the investigations, have been served with formal notifications and those in the Rape Investigation Team have been moved to other teams. Northumbria Police says this is standard procedure and a temporary measure.

“This does not necessarily mean they are guilty of serious issues. This is entirely dependent on the findings of the investigation. If any officer has failed to reach the high standards expected of them rest assured this will be dealt with through the proper procedures.

– Superintendent Neil Adamson

Following the re-opening of cases a 50 year old man has been arrested in the Slatyford area of Newcastle in connection with a rape in March this year and has been bailed.

Advertisement

15 specialist officers moved while rape reports investigated

Police have confirmed 15 specialist officers have been moved to other duties while some reports of rape continue to be investigated.

This is after some reports of rape in the North East may have been incorrectly recorded as "no crime", according to a recent audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Read More: Reports of rape to be reviewed by Northumbria Police.

Chief Superintendent Neil Adamson from Northumbria Police has spoken to ITV Tyne Tees about the ongoing investigation:

PCC had 'grave concerns' over North East rape reports

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, was involved in reviewing the reports of rape in the North East that may have been incorrectly recorded as "no crime":

My role as Police and Crime Commissioner is to determine that the police are doing everything within their powers to support victims of crime.

I have reviewed the cases and did have grave concerns, asking that a number be looked at again. This has happened and appropriate action is now being taken.

I'm fully supportive of the prompt action the Chief Constable has taken and I'm confident that a thorough investigation will take place and I will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Sexual assault including rape is one of my key priorities and I'm committed to ensuring victims feel confident to report such crimes and are reassured that they will be taken seriously and will be properly investigated by specially trained officers.

Where needed, I will ensure that lessons are learnt and action taken.

– Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird

Police officers involved in reviewed rape reports moved 'to other duties'

Police officers who were involved in reports of rape that may have been incorrectly recorded as "no crime" have been moved to other duties until the full circumstances have been determined, Northumbria Police says.

This follows a recent audit by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which suggested that some reports of rape in the North East may have been incorrectly recorded as "no crime".

Read More: Reports of rape to be reviewed by Northumbria Police

As an interim measure those dealing with any case where decisions are being further examined have been moved. This is not to pre judge the outcome of the investigation but to reassure the public that we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure professional standards are maintained.

If any officer has failed to reach the high standards expected of them this will be dealt with through the proper procedures.

Anyone who reports a rape to us should be confident that will take them seriously, investigate thoroughly and bring offenders to justice wherever we can. If any victim has concerns about the way their case has been handled they should get in touch with us. They have my personal assurance that we will look into their concerns properly.

– Chief Constable Sue Sim
Load more updates Back to top