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Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC today expressed her grave concern that rape victims are to be asked to hand over their mobile phones

29th April 2019

Dame Vera said there was a “public safety issue” that could see serial rapists walk free if victims do not come forward because they don’t want every element of their private life examined.

“This is not consent,” she warned. “This is an authority figure telling you to sign a form as soon as you have finished an interview which may be reliving what is one of the most horrific experiences of your life. If you don’t agree that’s the end of the case and you’ve just done the interview for nothing”. 

She said the forms were  just part of the problem as police and prosecutors look to harvest third party material, such as school records and medical notes.  “The evidence is already there, those victims who decline to grant access are having their cases dropped. Home Office figures show the proportion of rape cases being prosecuted nationally had dropped to a low of just 1.7 percent, for victims to sign away their privacy to hand over their mobiles will see this figure drop even further.