Norway: sex offences in 2005

by Robert Whiston FRSA   Jan 13th 2011

With a population one tenth that of Britain’s it would not be unreasonable to find that criminal offending and sex offences, in particular, were 10% of those found in England & Wales.

 The following table lists the gross total of all crimes reported to the police in 2005. Of the 84,701 general crimes, 14,000 were committed by women. We have to assume that because the term “and age of perpetrator” is used that the numbers refer to cases brought to trial – regardless of whether they were subsequently found guilty or not.

Below that figure is the total showing Sexual Crimes of all types. There were 1,051 sex related crimes in Norway in 2005, of which 122 were rapes and 10 were attempted rapes. Women committed  only one rape and no attempted rapes. Later on in the Table they are shown as a comparatively insignificant number in the various “Sexual intercourse with child” categories.

Before looking more closely at the rape data it is clear that Norway’s division of sex offending closely resembles Britain’s in that Incest (16 cases) is separate from Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, which is subdivided by ages, e.g. a total of 58 cases in the ‘under 10’ category

These offences are then differentiated from unlawful sexual ACTS (not intercourse) on a person under 16 (82 instances), or lewd and/or indecent acts (286 cases).

Focusing exclusively on general or adult sex offending (totaling 1,051), the above table shows a surge in rapes in the 30 -39 age band. That increase, or spike, in numbers is shown in graphic terms in the following chart.

Before the spike appears the early perpetrator trend line looks as if it might, after rising steadily from those aged ‘under 14’, subside into a natural curve culminating in the 50 -59 years old grouping (see “Norway: rapes 2005 by age group”).

Norway categorises sex crimes committed from the tender age of 5, which may surprise many. The ‘Under 14’ category shown in the graph (right) refers to the age range ‘5  to 14’.

The data used to create the graphic is found in the table format below. Compared with ‘All types of crimes’ there are relatively few sex-related crimes.  At a little over 1.2% (1,051 /  84,701) the ratio of sex-related crimes is on a par with England & Wales.

The age groupings, however, give a false impression. Apart from the middle and late years, e.g. 30 – 39, all other earlier age grouping span only 2 or 3 years. When these earlier age grouping are standardised with the middle and late year categories a completely different picture emerges. Far from the early years, i.e. 14 to 21 being a time when offending starts at a low level and increases with age / time, the 14 to 21 age period appears to be when offending is at its highest – the very opposite of the impression given by the first table displayed above  (see graphic below).

Could this also be true of rape data ?

The following graph displays data – specifically for rape – reassembled into 10 yearly intervals. Admittedly, there are only 122 rapes recorded in the whole of Norway, and errors are possible on so small a sample, but the trend appears to be unmistakable. It sharply follows, by age group, that for general sex offending in Norway.

NB ‘Attempted rapes’ have not been included due to their small number (one in each age bracket) which might skew the already small dataset.

There is a possibility that 10 yearly intervals are too clumsy and that important nuances might be accidentally hidden. Therefore, the same analysis but this time with 5 yearly intervals is shown below.

Firstly, one can see – as one would normally expect – that the offending total for children aged between 4 and 14 is low – but perhaps not as low as one might have first thought.

Secondly, the engine behind the high rape incidence seen in the youngest age bracket seen above is actually the 15 to 19 year olds. There after rape reports taper off. There are several explanations for this one of them being that older teenagers know how to handle intimate relationships netter as they get older.

Rapes appear to taper off thereafter and this trend applies to the age brackets from the 20- 24 along to the 30 -34 group.

The third characteristic is a slight increase seen in the 35- 39 age group which breaks the otherwise downward trend.

Fourthly, the downward trend stalls at the 40-44 and 45 – 49 age brackets. It falls again in the 50-54 and the 55-59 but then, surprisingly, rises in the 60+ age bracket.

From a limited number of English rape cases published in newspapers and from ad hoc confidential reports from some who have been falsely accused of rape it does appear as if there is a sub-set of females aged approx. 20 to 30 years old.  This sub-set accuses men aged 40  -45 of raping them even though they may never have met. This finding is still in it infancy in Britain but in so small a sample size in Norway it could have disproportionate effects. This might well account for the stall and then the continuation of the downward trend seen around the age of 40 to 49. However, the rise in the 60+  is curious.

Is 2005 a typical year ?

From other official Norwegian sources the following data for the years 1993 – 2006 concerning ‘Rapes and Sexual Offences’ is shown in table below.

This shows that in 2005 there were 3,197 sexual offences of all types and 798 rapes reported to the police.

The difference between the 3,197 sexual offences reported and the figure of 1,501 shown above is the conviction and acquittal differences. The 1,051 refers to perpetrators charged and tried not the number of reports. The same applies to the 798 reported rapes and the 122 listed convictions.

Over a period of more than 10 years ‘Sexual Offences’ reported to the police have risen 61% from 2,118 to 3,463. Over the same period rapes have risen from 368 in 1993 to 840 in 2006.

To put those general sexual offences offending rates on a par with England & Wales required them to be multiplied by 10. Thus 2,118  would become 21,180  and 3,463 would become  34,630.

Similarly, the 798 reported rapes in 2005 would become 7,980 if the population was the size of England & Wales. In fact 13,327 rapes (almost double the expected number) were reported that year to the police in England & Wales. This again underscores the aberrant behaviour of rape statistics in Britain.

In Britain there were 4,589 reported rape to the police in 1993 and by 2005 there were 13,327 reported rapes. This is not a surge of 61% but a trebling of the 1993 levels. [1]

One question that remains unanswered is whether Norway considers ‘Sexual intercourse with child under 10′ (of which there were 69 charges laid in 2005) to be more properly in the realm of paedophilia, or whether there is a separate category for child abuse not listed in these tables.  

END


[*] The five year graph is courtesy of George Piskor (Canada).

[1] Reported rapes. “Crime in England and Wales 2007/08” (July 2008). http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0708.pdf 

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Rape: is it a cultural problem ?

A crime that dare not speak its name ?

This article is best read in conjunction with the preceding topic Norway, Rape and Multi-culturalism”

by Robert Whiston FRSA  Jan 11th 2011

Women’s rights campaigners fall ominously silent just when you want them not to. Why are they not actively protecting their Norwegian ‘sisters’ from this alleged Islamic oppression ? Is it because they too want to preserve their ‘minority’ status and maintain the Great Satan as an epithet fit only for their own nationals ? Or is it because their twisted doctrine sees patriarchy only in terms of white males regardless of nationality ?

 Norwegians awoke in 2001 to find the number of rapes in their country of 4 million had unexpectedly increased. In the capital city, Oslo, the ratio of rapes to size population was 6 times that of New York.

Apart from Norway’s Minister of Justice,  Odd Einar Dørum ( 2001 to 2005), mentioning the problem in 2001 reportedly all references to the issue have since quietly faded away.

The reason offered for this increase at the time was that 23.8% of the population in the Oslo area (where most rapes happened) have foreign background, and someone had calculated that ‘a foreigner’ is 8.55 times more likely to commit a rape crime.

Can this be true ?

Two of Norway’s three largest newspapers (the Aftenposten and Dagbladet), initially covered the story alleging that most of those charged with rape involved an immigrant perpetrator but both newspapers have subsequently lost interest.

Fig 1.

More recently figures show that 72.8% of rapists (in 2007) had what Norwegians term a “foreign background” – this compares with  63.2% of rapists in 2004, and 53% in 2001.

The inference seems to be that most offenders are immigrant Muslims with men of African background allegedly increasing their “share” of rapes from 10% in 2001, 19.1% in 2004 and now 30.5% in 2007. [1]

Rape victims who had Norwegian backgrounds numbered 73% in 2007 – presumably these were indigenous Norwegians ? Fig 1 (above) shows the steady increase in reported rapes since 1993 to 2005 per 100,000 of the population.

Ten years later and politics in Britain finally feels itself bold enough to ask the same question;

  • “Why are non-Europeans disproportionately more engaged in these sorts of sex abuses and crimes ?”

Even raising the subject on tippy toes stirs up a hornets nest amongst the righteous in the media (Jan 8th 20111). But for the redeeming feature of the topic being broached by Jack Straw MP, consequent upon a particularly nasty trial itemising systematic rape of white teenage girls by Pakistani men, anyone else would have been castigated as a far right fascist (see Appendix A).

In Norway this same question has been smouldering for 10 years and one wonders why Women’s Rights campaigners have been so silent on the issue ?

Fig 2.

Translating the data into graph format it can be seen that overall sex-related offences declined from a high in 1996 (approx 3,500) to a trough in 2000-01 of approx 2,700. In the corresponding years rapes rose from around 490 to just over 500 (Fig 2, left).

The claim that ‘a foreigner is 8.55 times more likely to commit a rape crime’ is examined in Fig 3 (below) which displays the percentage of Muslims in each of Norway’s counties. At over 7% Oslo is by far the most favoured city in which Muslims chose to settle down. However, Muslims is a very generic term applying to a variety of nationalities.

Statistics Norway reported in Jan 1st 2010 that it played host nation to immigrants from 216 countries most were in Oslo. Of the capital’s 587 000 inhabitants, 160 500 (which is 27%), were immigrants or were Norwegian-born to immigrant parents.[2]

The effect on Norway’s demographics is startling, if not worrying. In Fig 3 the number of inhabitant from Nordic countries compared with those from Western Europe (shaded in red), Eastern Europe (shaded in blue), and ‘Asia, Turkey, Africa’ (shaded in grey). Asia and Africa outnumber the combined totals of all other groups

Fig 3.

Though not stated in official statistics, this last category is likely to be the only one containing a substantial proportion of Muslims referred to in Norwegian newspapers.

It is very clear that immigrants from Nordic countries are at a numerical standstill and the only other immigrant impetus of note is from Eastern Europe, eg Poland, Bulgaria etc, which Statistics Norway notes is a sector which does not stay very long.

Statistics Norway also provides data on what this means in terms of percentages (see Fig 4, below). Of the population of Oslo in 2010, 27 % were immigrants of born in immigrant parents with 20% coming from Africa, Asia, Latin America etc. only about 8% of immigrants came from the EU, New Zealand, America and Australia.

Fig 4.

In terms of number of offenders and their ages, Fig 5, below, details sex offences for 2005. There were a total of 84,701 criminal offences in 2005 of which only 1,051 had a sexual content.

Fig 5.

Out of these 1,051 offences (shown in red) there were 122 reported rapes – with the age group most likely to offend being men aged 30 -39 (both for general sexual violations and specifically rape and attempted rape [shown in blue]).

Men committed 70,517 of the 84,701 crimes and women 14,184. In the specific area of crimes with a sexual connotation, men committed 1, 029 offences and women 22. Within that sub-set men committed 121 rapes and women, just one.

In recent years, immigration has accounted for more than half of Norway’s population growth. According to Statistic Norway (SSB), a record 61,200 immigrants arrived in the country in 2007. This is 35% more than 2006. At the beginning of 2010, there were 552,313 persons in Norway with an immigrant background (i.e. immigrants, or born of immigrant parents), comprising 11.4% of the total population. 210,725 were from Western countries (EU/EFTA, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and 341,588 were from other countries.

The largest immigrant groups by country of origin, in order of size, are Poles, Swedes, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Somalis, Germans, Vietnamese, and Danes.

Norwegians of Pakistani descent

This is the largest visible minority group in Norway, and totalling 31,000 is the largest Muslim grouping (see Fig 6). Almost all live in or around Oslo.

Fig 6.

The Iraqi immigrant population has shown a large increase in recent years. After the enlargement of the EU in 2004, there was the same influx of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe which Britain experienced.

Muslims in Norway are a very fragmented group, coming from many different backgrounds according to Ms. Kari Vogt (Associate Professor of the History of Religions, University of Oslo).  [3]  She ‘estimated’ in 2000 that there were about 500 Norwegian converts to Islam. The rest are mostly first or second generation immigrants from a number of countries. The largest immigrant communities from Muslim countries in Norway are from Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia.

Simmering Problem

As a by-product of multi-culturalism has an unhealthy atmosphere been allowed to build-up ? Has multi-culturalism been used to deliberately suppress public debate and the publication of criminal acts and trends ? In official circles the subject is never mentioned and save for the odd newspaper story the extent is ignored and the concern discounted. 

Norway

The disparities in immigrant settlement patterns within Norway and rape offences would seem to have some foundation (see Fig 7 left). Most county areas have Muslim concentrations of less than 1% and some have only a 1% or 2% Muslim population. Oslo is alone in having over 7% (and by now, over 8%).

France

France has long had a large Muslim contingent in its society (remnants of its connections with Algeria, Tunisia, Syria etc.). In June 2005 a report by IslamOnline.net noted the phenomenon of around 70% of prisoners in French jails being of the Islamic persuasion. At the time chaplains and sociologists put the blame on marginalisation, high levels of poverty and unemployment rates to be found among the Muslim minority (see Mamdo Sango, a Muslim chaplain and Iranian-French researcher Farhad Khosrokhavar).

Ethnicity-based censuses are as rigorously prohibited in French jails as pork is to Muslims so no official light is being shed on this problem and ‘private’ research is all that is available. [4] 

Sweden

According to Swedish Radio, statistics from Sweden’s National Council for Crime Prevention show that the number of reported rapes against children has nearly doubled in the ten years prior to 2004. In 1995 there were 258 rapes against children under the age of 15 but there were 467 such rapes in 2004. One headline case involved a 13 year old girl from Motala who was said to have been subjected to a group rape by four Kurdish Muslim men. She was raped for hours and they took photographs of the event.

In common with Norway, the past few decades have seen a massive influx of immigration into Sweden which has changed the character of Sweden’s major cities, as well as challenged the economic viability of its ‘welfare state’. In 1970 Sweden had the fourth highest GDP per capita among developed countries with income about 6% above the OECD average. By 1997 it was at fifteenth place with an average GDP per capita 14% below average.

Denmark

The number of rape charges per capita in Malmö is 5 – 6 times that of Copenhagen. Although Copenhagen is a larger city than Malmö the percentage of immigrants is much lower.  According to some estimates, in less than 10 years time Malmö will have a Muslim majority.

Conclusion

So we are left with an enigma. If rape is not a culturally determined  crime, what role does culture and religion play in the incidence of rape ? Simply having contempt for one’s victim might be the common denominator between rape in immigrant free societies and rape where immigrants are heavily represented. There is an undecurrent of religious supremacy displayed by Islamic fundamentalists who appear to despise all other religions.

The fate of hundreds of Filipina girls who moves to the Middle East in order to earn a living in a ‘dometic’ role is well documented. The abuse and degradation they suffer belongs more to the slavers of the 18th century than it does to UN member of the 21st century. The Philippine Embassy is intimidated into silence by the sheer economic dominance of the oil rich countries in the Middle East.

To make minorities feel welcomed and ‘included’, multi-cultrualism has gifted minorities a voice; this ‘sanctioned by the state’ voice has given minorities power. That small degree of power has given rise to autonomy and political clout where political activism can alter government policies.

There seem to be no easy answers.

Appendix A

Daily Telegraph (London) 8th Jan 2011 

Pakistani men see white girls as ‘easy meat’, claims Jack Straw

Former Home Secretary Jack Straw has accused some Pakistani men in Britain of seeing young white women as “easy meat” for sexual abuse.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8247607/Pakistani-men-see-white-girls-as-easy-meat-claims-Jack-Straw.html

The Blackburn MP has called on the Pakistani community to be “more open” about the issue after describing about a “specific problem” involving young Pakistani men’s attitudes towards white girls.

He was speaking after two Asian men were jailed after subjecting a series of vulnerable girls to rapes and sexual assaults.

Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 11 years at Nottingham Crown Court and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, 28, was told he must serve at least eight years before being considered for release.

The men were the ring leaders of a gang that befriended girls aged from 12 to 18 in the Derby area and groomed them for sex.

Thirteen men were charged in relation to Operation Retriever, which Derbyshire Police set up, and 11 stood trial charged with offences relating to 26 alleged victims. Out of the original 13, a total of nine were convicted of sexual offences.

Speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Mr Straw said:

  • “Pakistanis, let’s be clear, are not the only people who commit sexual offences, and overwhelmingly the sex offenders’ wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders.
  • “But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls.
  • “We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way.”

The judge said he did not believe the crimes were “racially aggravated”, but Mr Straw said he thought vulnerable white girls were at risk of being targeted by some Asian men.

  • “These young men are in a western society, in any event, they act like any other young men, they’re fizzing and popping with testosterone, they want some outlet for that, but Pakistani heritage girls are off-limits and they are expected to marry a Pakistani girl from Pakistan, typically,” he said.
  • “So they then seek other avenues and they see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care … who they think are easy meat.
  • “And because they’re vulnerable they ply them with gifts, they give them drugs, and then of course they’re trapped.”

Police in Derbyshire have insisted that the sexual abuse case should not be treated as a racial issue.

The sentencing of Saddique and Romaan came a day after Prime Minister David Cameron said “cultural sensitivities” should not hinder police action in such cases. Speaking on Friday to The Times during a visit to Oldham, Mr Cameron said:

  • “We should not be put off by cultural sensitivities or anything like that. Pursue the evidence, pursue criminality wherever it leads.”

The Guardian:

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/08/jack-straw-white-girls-easy-meat

Excerpt – – The former home secretary Jack Straw has been accused of stereotyping Pakistani men in Britain after he accused some of them as regarding white girls as “easy meat” for sexual abuse. His comments were criticised by Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, who said it was wrong to “stereotype a whole community”.

Straw called on the British Pakistani community to be “more open” about the issue. “These young men are in a western society, in any event, they act like any other young men, they’re fizzing and popping with testosterone, they want some outlet for that, but Pakistani heritage girls are off-limits and they are expected to marry a Pakistani girl from Pakistan, typically,” he said.

“So they then seek other avenues and they see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care … who they think are easy meat.

Vaz told Sky News:

  • “I don’t think we can make that jump necessarily to it being a cultural problem … We want an investigation that has no fear or favour to any community. But it is important that we get this into context.”

Additional sources:

” . . .  The pair, who were both married fathers, cruised Derby’s streets for victims while their unsuspecting families waited at home for them. According to research this week, there have been 17 prosecutions of on-street grooming of girls involving at least two men since 1997. From a total of 56 convictions, 53 of the defendants were Asian and the other three white. But the judge in this latest case ruled out race as a factor.

http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/coward-comes-out-jack-straw-under-fire-after-accusing-pakistani-men-of-seeing-white-girls-as-easy-meat-for-sexual-abuse/

END

 Footnotes:

[1] http://www.politi.no/pls/idesk/docs/…tioslo2007.pdf

[2] Statistics Norway http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/02/01/10/innvbef_en/

[3] Kari Vogt, University of Oslo, author of “Between Desert and City“, and co-edited a collection about Islamic Law Reform and Human Rights, including “New Directions in Islamic Thought”  (http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/qatar/cirs/HassanHanafiBrief.pdf)  looking at fundamentalism and post-fundamentalism, and “Exploring Reform and Muslim Tradition”, exploring how Muslims to reconcile their beliefs with the pressures and imperatives of the modern world and how they should handle the tension between their roles in “the West.

[4]  ‘Islam in Prisons’ by Farhad Khosrokhavar

Norway, Rape and Multi-culturalism

by Robert Whiston FRSA   Jan 9th 2011

How often have we heard women’s campaign groups ridiculing the idea that a provocatively dressed woman should never be considered as flaunting her sexuality ?

Women have the right – we are firmly told – to dress (and behave ?) how they choose and it should not mean that it attracts men’s attention or that it should be used as an excuse for suggesting the likelihood of them being raped is increased.

This week (Jan 2011), Britain’s Daily Telegraph carried a story about a survey undertaken by The Haven into generational perceptions of ‘sexy’ behaviour. This showed that 33% vs. 25% of 35 to 50 year old person believed women should accept responsibility for ‘dressing provocatively.’ [1] Contrary to the doctrine of women’s campaigning groups it is ordinary women who are far less forgiving than men towards women who dress provocatively (women 31% vs. men 23%) – nor is this a new discussion.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s rapes in Norway and particularly in Norway’s capital, Oslo, were increasing at an alarming rate for such a sparsely populated country. It was possible to accurately claim that the number of rapes in Oslo per capita was six times higher than the per capita rate for New York City.

According to the newspapers Aftenposten and Dagbladet, the emergency hospital known as Legevakt has never had so many rape victims to treat.

  • “Our resources have been the same for the past 10 years, while the number of our patients has doubled, and continues to increase this year,” said Endre Sandvik, leader of Oslo’s Legevakt.

The number of reported rapes increased from 235 last year to nearly 300 women seeking help at Oslo’s emergency clinic handling rape victims in 2006. [2]

  • “The growth in the number of rapes is dramatic,” said Sylvi Listhaug, the politician in charge of health issues on the Oslo City Council. “It makes me angry, and worried about the young women of our city.”

The explosion in the number of rape charges in Oslo involved immigrant perpetrators, which were mostly Muslims. In 2001 a police study noticed that two out of three persons charged with rape in Oslo were “immigrants from a non-western background.” A glance at Norway’s population statistics shows between 3 and 4 times more immigrants living in Oslo than any other Norwegian city.

Yet Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, said in 2001 that because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative:

  • “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes.”

The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite:

Left: Professor Unni Wikan (b 1944)

  • “Norwegian women must realise that we live in a multi-cultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

Wikan has campaigned since the 1990s to change Norwegian policies towards immigrants and argued that generous welfare payments and a policy of multi-cultural tolerance are creating a culture of welfare dependency, and destroying self-respect.

In the core countries of the Scandinavian bloc, i.e. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, not dissimilar problems are being faced, all having jointly adopted similarly generous social and welfare policies many years ago.

In a 2001 debate about the culture of rape amongst Muslim immigrants in Norway, Wikan  said that Norwegian women were ‘blind and naive’ towards non-Western immigrants;

  1. “I will not blame the rapes on Norwegian women, but Norwegian women must understand that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”
  2. “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” (for example, by not inviting into their homes Muslim men with little knowledge of Norwegian culture).

This second point seems to be denying grown men the ability to make choices, conduct themselves sensibly and adjust to their new surroundings.

Unni Wikan is a complex and a contradictory figure prepared to go against the conventional wisdom in voicing what a substantial number of ordinary people quietly think about provocatively dressed women (see Jan 2011 Haven Refuge survey).

Yet at the same time, as an anthropologist, she tolerates crimes she ascribes to cultural differences while castigating multi-culturalism which should have blended the two cultures into one.

Multi-culturalism was introduced all across Western Europe specifically to defuse race and cultural clashes as waves of immigrants and refugees transformed from an inconsequential number into sizeable minorities. Generous ‘open door’ policies unchanged for decades fuelled more arrivals from distant cultures escaping war-torn countries or economic privation. The host countries anticipated the newcomers would blend in but this has not happened.

The initial success of multi-culturalism is now giving way to a new reality – one that acknowledges it provides only a veneer of tranquility and is not viable without constant external support. Wikan and other thinkers believe multi-culturalism has achieved the very reverse of its intention;

  1. Culture has become a new concept of race
  2. Sustaining ethnic identity politics has subverted human rights
  3. Fearful of being considered racist, state agencies have sacrificed freedom and equality in the name of culture
  4. Free speech and expression is no longer freely permitted
  5. As a result the host population feels it values under threat and its hegomeny is everywhere compromised

In the academic world a debate rages over “value conflicts” as they apply to multi-cultural societies. Meanwhile, as institutions fail to function as anticipated people are caught up in the turmoil of their malfuntioning. There is a disconnect between latent public opinion and how the state’s policies are determined. In Britain we see this in the dread reserved by all respectable political parties for the BNP political party that appeals directly to the indigenous working class population.

Politically articulate they might not be but the working class are astute enough to recognise the contradiction in policies that rarely assist them with the overly-protective measures afforeded minority cultures and welfare. ‘Social Justice’ is thus put to the sword.

One reviewer of Wikan’s book (“Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the New Europe“) claims that she does not fully appreciate the complexity of the social reality.” In this era of political correctness it is an easy slur to make to describe her writings as a “racist polemic.”

But the reality is that Scandinavia has seen an unexpected resurgence of nationalist / right-wing politicians (the same is true of politics in Holland).

Before multi-culturalism many immigrants in Europe were viewed as marginalised, experienced discrimination and segregation. However, Unni Wikan shows in her book how an excessive respect for their culture has been part of the problem which has seen an increase in segregation (e.g. Muslim ghettos) and an increase in marginalisation that the resulting parallel societies have created.

END

Ref:

“Wake Up To Rape Research – Summary Report”

http://www.thehavens.co.uk/docs/Havens_Wake_Up_To_Rape_Report_Summary.pdf

The study was conducted for the sexual assault awareness group, The Havens.

Extract:

The younger generation, the 18 to 24 year olds are also most likely to think a person should accept responsibility in different scenarios. They are more likely to think that a person should accept responsibility when:

  • Getting into bed with a person (68% vs. 63% of 25 to 34 year olds)
  • Going back to theirs for a drink (39% vs. 22% of 35 to 50 year olds)
  • Dressing provocatively (33% vs. 25% of 35 to 50 year olds)
  • Dancing in a sexy way with a man at a night club or bar (29% vs. 18% of 35 to 50 year olds)
  • Kissing them (23% vs. 8% of 35 to 50 year olds)
  • Accepting a drink and engaging in a conversation at a bar (20% vs. 7% of 35 to 50 year olds)

Legend  – (women % vs men %,  and by age range).

NB. The ‘Kissing them’ is a significant gender based difference. Women appear to impart and attach far more value to it than men. (23% vs. men 8%). 


[1] The Havens is a specialist rape victim support service with three unit in the London area. The sample (by Opinion Matters) included 349 men, 712 women, 213 aged 18 – 24, 386 aged 25 – 34 and 462 aged  35 – 50. The sample was made up of 922 heterosexual, 71 homosexual, 52 bi-sexual and 16 asexual respondents. http://www.thehavens.co.uk/docs/Havens_Wake_Up_To_Rape_Report_Summary.pdf

[2] ‘Rape reports soar in Oslo’ Dec 12th 2006 http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1567514.ece

Serial Rapist Behaviour

by Robert Whiston FRSA   Jan 7th 2011

The basis of this article is unashamably based on work undertaken in the US by Robert R. Hazelwood and Janet Warren in 1990. http://www.holysmoke.org/fem/fem0126.htm. As such, it is old and some of its research citations date back to the mid and late 1970s. Nevertheless, it provides a sound first step in differentiating types of rapists – something that has fallen out of fashion today. The benefit of this paper is that its authors have long experince of the subject matter and law enforcement credentials.

SERIAL RAPISTS, as highlighted in previous articles, have to be firmly distinguished from the ‘occasional’ and the ‘unfortunate’ rapist. Of the circa 13,000 men in England & Wales, arrested or taken in for questioning in recent years, approximately 10,000 were needlessly filled with dread. They are released with no charges brought.

In ball park terms approximately 950 will have had a previous criminal history involving a sex offence and the remaining 2,000 will be a mixture of the occasional (or one-off rapist) and the unfortunate rapist.

The occasional rapist can best be described as someone with a criminal history who over time has gravitated towards sex offences that culminate in an alleged rape but who then never rapes again. Such creatures do not exist according to female MP folklore but the statistics disprove this fond belief.

The unfortunate rapist is Mr. Joe Public. He may find himself accused of a rape which was actually a mutually consensual act at the time. In the majority of instances the incident is no-crimed or categorised as ‘no further action’ because the consensual nature is obvious to both the police and CPS. However, due to constant background pressures for “better” results the police and CPS may go against their better judgment and in a minority of cases the issue goes to trial.

At this point whether the person is acquitted or found guilty is a 50 / 50 gamble, literally. Inevitably some guilty rapists will be acquitted, but equally, the possibly exists that an innocent person accused of rape will be sentenced. Again such instances do not exist according to female MP folklore.

In an attempt to differentiate between these sub-categories I have devised the term ‘Hapless’ to apply to those wrongly accused and or then wrongly sentenced – and who have no previous criminal history. it also applies to those helplessly caught up in police sweeps for ficticious rapes and number around 10,000 annually

Premeditation, as we shall see later, is the distinct hallmark of a serial rapist.  This is lacking in all other types of rape offences. Whereas politicians and the law can distinguish between deliberate murder and unintentional murder, i.e. manslaughter, and adjust sentences accordingly this practical ability to spot differences deserts politicians and the mandatory sentences fail to reflect the varying gravities

The inevitability of miscarriages of justice are due to the Home Office insistence that lie detector are not reliable (not even for use by the police to verify the accuser’s story), and their insistence that British justice is so wonderful that post sentencing DNA testing of prisoners is superfluous to requirements. The erosion of a defendants rights to defend himself have been eroded since 1976 and are a shadow of their former selves, yet the conviction rate has not improved as was thought and, indeed, promised. Indeed, rape conviction numbers have hardly moved in comparison to reported rapes – but no one seems towant to notice this and certainly not to ask the question why.

It is very clear from this experienced duo, Robert Hazelwood and Janet Warren, that serial sexual attackers have a profoundly different profile and modus operandi than the hapless rapist.

An FBI special agent with over 20 years experience is certainly worth taking note of. Formerly a Major in the US Military Police, Robert Hazelwood has interviewed dozens of rapists responsible for over 800 rapes. He has also been published extensively in journals and has co-authored books.

 Left: Robert Hazelwood, FBI

In this article from the 1990s his co-author is Janet Warren, a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. Her link to the FBI is that she oversees university research collaboration with the various “profiling” units within the FBI, eg serial murders and child abduction.

Left: Janet Warren, University of Virginia.

To this insight should be added the case notes of Charles P. McDowell, formerly of the USAF and FBI. His study was based on 1,218 cases that were initially investigated as rapes. Of those, 460 were proven rapes, 212 were disproved allegations, and 546 cases remain unresolved. Some of his work will be displayed on a separate page on this site.

Research into rape over the past 20 years, while extensive, has been of poor quality and extremely blinkered. For a more expansive and liberal approach, ie one ready to entertain new theories and concepts, we have to go back to the 1980s. There we find studies into the motives and dynamics that are not hidebound or overawed by political correctness  in their conclusions.

THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR OF THE SERIAL RAPIST

FEBRUARY 1990

Sexual Dynamics of Rape

Premeditation                 

The majority of the sexual attacks (55% – 61%) committed by these men were premeditated across their first, middle, and last rapes (middle and last here refer to the rapes committed before capture, e.g. the middle 6 or the last 10). Fewer rapists reported their crimes as being impulsive (15% – 22%) or opportunistic (22% – 24%). 

Although no comparable data on serial rape are available, it is probable that the premeditation involved in these crimes is particularly characteristic of these serial rapists

It is also probable that this premeditation is reflective of their preferential interest in this type of crime and largely accounts for their ability to avoid detection.             

     The sexual acts that the victim was forced to engage in remained relatively constant across all three rapes.  The most common acts were vaginal intercourse (5% – 67%), oral sex (29% -44%), kissing (8% – 13%) and fondling (10-18%). Anal intercourse (5-10%) and foreign object penetration (3-8%) were reported less often.

In assessing changes in behavior over the first, middle and last rapes, there appears to be a trend wherein the rapists’ interest in oral sex increases while his interest in vaginal contact decreases.

Sample Size

From 1984 to 1986, FBI Special Agents assigned to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) interviewed 41 men who were responsible for raping 837 victims.

Previous issues of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin provided an introduction to this research (1) and the characteristics of the rapists and their victims. This article, however, describes the behavior of these serial rapists during and following the commission of their sexual assaults. The information presented is applicable only to the men interviewed; it is not intended to be generalised to all men who rape.

Methods of Approach adopted by Serial Rapists

There are three different styles of approach rapists frequently use:  The “Con,” the “Blitz,” and the “Surprise.” (3)  Each reflects a different means of selecting, approaching and subduing a chosen victim.

1/. The “Con” approach – typically this involves subterfuge and an ability to interact with the rapist victim. So, for example, a man who raped more than 20 women told the interviewers that he stopped one of his victims late at night and identified himself as a plainclothes police officer.  With this technique, the rapist openly approaches the victim and requests or offers some type of assistance or direction.  However, once the victim is within his control, the offender may suddenly become more aggressive. 

The ‘Con’ approach was used in 8 (24%) of the first rapes, 12 (35%) of the middle rapes, and 14 (41%) of the last rapes

2/. The “Blitz” approach is sheer violence. A typical scenario might be a woman loading groceries in her car; she is approached a man struck her in the face; she is thrown into the car and raped.   

In a blitz approach, the rapist uses a direct, injurious physical assault which subdues and physically injures the victim. The attacker may also use chemicals or gases but most frequently makes use of his ability to physically overpower a woman. 

Interestingly, despite its simplicity, this approach was used in 23% of the first rapes, 20% of the middle rapes, and 17% of the last rapes. Even though it is used less often than the ‘con’ approach, the blitz approach results in more extensive physical injury and inhibits certain fantasy components of the rape that may be arousing to the rapist.   

3/. The “Surprise” approach involves a rapist pre-selecting his victims through “Peeping Tom”’ activities (a phrase rarely heard in modern times). Such a rapist would then watch the victim’s residence to establish her timetable and patterns. Typically, after deciding to rape the woman, the rapist would wait until she had gone to sleep, enter the home, and place his hand over her mouth.  He would advise the victim that he did not intend to harm her if she co-operated with the assault. In this way one rapist raped more than 20 women before he was apprehended.

Controlling the Victim

How rapists maintain control over a victim is a question often posed. Janet Warren & Robert Hazelwood believe it is dependent upon two factors:

  • a). Their motivation for the sexual attack and/or
  • b). The passivity of the victim.

Within this context, four control methods are frequently used in various combinations during a rape: [1] 

  1. Mere physical presence
  2. Verbal threats    
  3. Display of a weapon, and
  4.  The use of physical force

Anal intercourse and foreign object penetration were reported the least often. In assessing changes in behavior over the first, middle and last rapes, there appears to be a trend where the rapists’ interest in oral sex increases while his interest in vaginal intercourse decreases.

Weapons: Firearms v Knives

The men in this study predominantly used a threatening physical presence (82% – 92%) and/or verbal threats (65% – 80%) to control their victims.

Substantially less often they displayed a weapon (44% – 49%) or physically assaulted the victim (27% – 32%). When a weapon was displayed, it was most usually a sharp instrument, such as a knife (27% – 42%).

One rapist explained that he chose a knife because he perceived it to be the most intimidating weapon to use against women in view of their fear of disfigurement.

Firearms were used less frequently (14% – 20%). 

Surprisingly, all but a few of the rapists used binding located at the scene of the rape. One exception was an individual who brought pre-cut lengths of rope, adhesive tape and handcuffs along with him. 

In previous research, it was found that there was no relationship between both verbal and physical resistance and the amount of injury sustained by the victim. 2  Interestingly, however, the degree of the rapists’ pleasure and the duration of the rape did increase when the victim resisted.

Sexual Dynamics of the Rape

The sexual acts that the victim was forced to engage in remained relatively constant across all three types of rapes, i.e. Con, Blitz and Surprise’ approach. The most common acts were:

  • vaginal intercourse (54% – 67%)
  • oral sex (29% – 44%),
  • kissing (8% – 13%) and
  • fondling (10% -18%).
  • anal intercourse (5% – 10%)
  • foreign object penetration (3% – 8%)

Anal intercourse and foreign object penetration were reported the least often. In assessing changes in behavior over the first, middle and last rapes, there appears to be a trend where the rapists’ interest in oral sex increases while his interest in vaginal intercourse decreases. [2]

Sexual Dysfunction

In a study of 170 rapists, it was determined that 34% experienced some type of sexual dysfunction during the rape. [3]   
In fact, it has been noted that “the occurrence of offender sexual dysfunction and an investigatory understanding of the dysfunction may provide valuable information about the unidentified rapist.”  [4]

The data on these serial rapists are strikingly similar. In the first rape, 38% of the subjects reported a sexual dysfunction, 39% in the middle rape, and 35% during the last assault.

This type of information can prove helpful to the investigator in associating different offences with a single offender, because the nature of the dysfunction and the means the offender uses to overcome it are likely to remain constant over a number of rapes.

Evading Detection

Considering the rapists’ casual aptitude for avoiding detection, it is surprising to note that very few of the serial rapists employed specific behaviors designed to obscure or preclude their identification.

In fact, offenders tended to rape their victims in the victim’s home, thereby contributing to their ability to avoid detection.[5]  (NB. this paper was written before the discovery of DNA).

Additionally, the majority of rapists (61-68%) did not report dressing in any special way for the offences.  Surprisingly, disguises were reported in only 7% – 12% of the offences, suggesting that other means of evading detection were used by these particular offenders.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol is commonly associated with rape but other drugs, to a lesser degree, are also used at the time of the rape.[6]   The data on these rapists suggest a somewhat different relationship between alcohol/drugs and serial rape. 

Approximately one-third of the rapists were drinking alcoholic beverages at the time of the first, middle and last offenses, with 17% – 24% of the respondents reporting using drugs. 

In a majority of these cases, these figures reflect the offender’s typical consumption pattern and not an unusual increase in substance abuse.    

CONCLUSION

The research concerning serial rapists’ behavior during and following the commission of the crimes has determined that:

  • The majority of the rapes were premeditated
  • The “Con” approach was used most often in initiating contact with the victim
  • A threatening presence and verbal threats were used to maintain control over the victim
  • Minimal or no force was used in the majority of instances
  • The victims physically, passively or verbally resisted the rapists in slightly over 50% of the offences
  • The most common offender reaction to resistance was to verbally threaten the victim
  • Slightly over one-third of the offenders experienced a sexual dysfunction, and the preferred sexual acts were vaginal rape and forced fellatio (mouth sucking a penis)
  • Low levels of pleasure were reported by the rapists from the sexual acts
  • The rapists tended not to be concerned with precautionary measures to protect their identities
  • Approximately one-third of the rapists had consumed alcohol prior to the crime and slightly less reported using some other drug.

The most common post-offence behavior reported by the rapists were feelings of remorse and guilt, following the case in the media and an increase in alcohol and drug consumption. These characteristics, although not generally applicable to every rapist, can be helpful in learning more about offenders, their behaviors and the heinous crime of rape.

END

Footnotes:


[1] “The Serial Rapist: His Characteristics and Victims, by Robert Hazelwood & Janet Warren, and FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, vol. 58, Nos. 1 and 2, Jan and Feb 1989, pp. 10-17 and 11-18.

[2] Robert R. Hazelwood, R. Reboussin & J. Warren, “Serial Rape:Correlates of Increased Aggression and the Relationship of Offender Pleasure to Victim Resistance,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, March 1989, pp. 65-78

[3], “Sexual Dysfunction During Rape,” by NA. Groth & A. W. Burgess, New England Journal of Medicine, October 6, 1977, pp. 764-766. 

[4] “Analyzing the Rape and Profiling the Offender,” Robert Hazelwood, Practical Aspects of Rape Investigations: A Multi-disciplinary Approach, R. Hazelwood & A. Burgess (Eds 1987), pp. 169-199.

[5] “The Serial Rapist: His Characteristics and Victims,” Part II, by Robert Hazelwood & J. Warren FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1989, pp. 11-18.

[6] “Psychological Factors in Rapist Behavior,” by R. Rada, American Journal of Psychiatry, vo. 132, pp. 444-446, 1975 and R. Rada, “Psychological Factors in Rapist Behavior,” Clinical Aspects of the Rapist, R. Rada (Ed. 1978), pp. 21-85.

Taking the Michael, in 1996 ?

by Robert Whiston FRSA  Jan 6th 2011

Michael Howard MP, QC, is nobody’s fool, and no matter whether one dislikes or approves of him, as a QC no one is going to pull the legal wool over his eyes.

As a political operator and manipulator of the Dark Art of the Possible he takes some beating – some would say he was peerless. As the last Home Secretary of a Conservative Party that had been in power for over a decade – and which would be out of power for more than another decade – he was not a novice to controversy.

Left: Michael Howard MP, QC, now Baron Howard of Lympne

He guided through what was to become known as “Section 28” which prohibited local governments from the promotion of homosexuality. In another ministerial post he introduced the Poll Tax which was vigorously opposed by the young and the unemployed but welcomed by the old and middle aged as more fair on them (the one group having to pay tax for the first time and the other groups having their bills reduced).

By comparison his time at the Home Office, 1993–1997, was less riotous, less tumultuous. Red in tooth and claw he believed and demonstrated that “prison works”. During his time as Home Secretary, offences fell by 16.8%. He repeatedly clashed with judges and prison reformers who he saw as attempting to dilute his ‘tough on crime’ measures.

Yet the sad truth is that once in office every Home Secretary becomes a mere clone of their predecessor, a puppet of the Whitehall mandarins and a creature of Home Office habits. Melanie Phillips, in her book “The Ascent of Woman” exposes why this is more true of the Home Office than any other Whitehall Dept.

What else could explain his position in a House of Commons debate in June 1996 – which was yet another occasion when sex offences and protection for both victim and defendant stirred emotions.

Obviously primed by his civil service team the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, said the following which is here been broken up into its 4 primary elements:

  • The purpose of any justice system must be to ensure that the innocent go free and that the guilty are convicted.
  • With the conviction rate for rape at less than 9 per cent.–unchanged since 1985—
  • No one can believe that 90 per cent. of women who make a complaint to the police alleging rape are making it up.
  • The new clauses seek to address those issues. They represent small but important steps in a long process of rebuilding the confidence of victims of rape and sexual assault in the criminal justice system

Everyone would agree with his first point, namely, that we must be to ensure that the innocent go free and that the guilty are convicted – but there is a corollary to that, namely, that the innocent must go free and incur no penalty, otherwise it is futile to find them innocent ? They might as well have been found guilty if the collateral damage is that they are subsequently penalised.

Clever though he might have been, he was no match for his devious civil servant team who fed him the bogus 9% figure. Everyone who has ever spoken in a parliamentary debate for the past 20 years has been fed this wholly untrue figure for rape convictions (see this site and Stern Report).

The upshot of this deceit is that arguments deployed against anonymity for defendants have no merit and are compromised to the point of being castrated.

His next remark is interesting. He links the 9% attrition rate – which everyone in those days called the conviction rate because the Home Office said it was so – with 90% of women making up rape claims and culprits walking away scot free.

He can’t have been that foolish to believe that only 1 in 10 rapes lead to a prosecution – can he ? It could be argued that he would have known better than most because of his intimate knowledge of the law, other barristers and experience in presenting cases. Yet the keeper of the key was the Home Office, only they had access to numbers nationally.

At the back of is mind must have lurked the dark thought that 90% of reported rapes resulted in no conviction. He would have rationalized that no one can believe that 90% of women would go to the police station and make up a rape.

If that was the case and Michael Howard not Theresa May was now at the Home Office, then “have I got news for him.”

Stand-by to be disabused. The figure for of women making reports of rape is not 90% but 80%, according to research undertaken in 2001/ 02 at two specialist rape referral centres. [1]

The figures are not plucked out of thw air but are based on data from establishment feminists, eg Liz Kelly, Josephine  Lovett and Linda Regan – all from the ‘Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit’ at the London Metropolitan University (see pie chart, left).

(NB. The ‘Feb 2006’ citation in the pie chart, left, may be an error (BBC webpage).  Home Office Research Study 293 was pub’d in Feb 2005 – see Kelly, Lovett, & Regan  A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases (PDF) ).

Data derived from specialist rape support service mixed with three comparison areas where no specialist provision existed will always prove problematical in statistical terms.

The base sample in “A gap or a chasm ? Attrition in reported rape cases” was 3,527 cases, which should have provided a broadly reliable basis for meaningful conclusions. In keeping with similar studies sub-samples were then interrorgated more closely(in-depth). Care has to be exercised when looking at the resulting percentages and claims as they may not reflect the whole sample, ie 3,527, but merely the in-depth sub-set of, say, 228 victims.

Had the data been taken from purely rape referral centres then we could say that the data was the best, the least tainted and the most reliable. We could say, with a degree of certainty, that the data was the best available, uncompromised by poor processes or recording errors at local police stations.

If the data had been derived from specialist rape support centres then we could say that the best possible figure for rapes that had no substance or were false was 80%. The implication being that rapes reported at police stations would have a higher false / bogus ‘yield’ than 80%, say 85% or 87%.

Mixing the data not only makes for sloppy science and bad arithmetic but obscures what should be crystal clear. It forces us to make generalisations. We can say that 80% but perhaps more of rape claims are dropped by the police because they are obvious fabrications or are so marginal as to whether sex was consensual or not, that a prosecution would not be tenable.

To underscore this position the data reveals that 21% of cases had insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution and in 17% of cases the victim withdrew her charge (this can be for all sorts of motives). In 12% of cases false allegation was admitted and there was no evidence of assault in 5% of cases. In 13% of instances the offender was not identified which implies a fictitious claim by a fantasist as ‘stranger’ rapes are much rarer then that. The total these categories generate is 68% (68% of what we are not told in the BBC article, ‘Call for new rape inquiry squads’).

Only 17% of rape victims in the 2001 – 02 data declined to complete initial process and once again reasons and motives are left unresolved. There was no prospect of a conviction in 2% of cases; not in public interest in 1% and ‘other/ unknown’ made up 12% of cases (100% of the 80%).

Of the remainder 6% the CPS decided not to proceed with and 14% went trial with 8% being convicted. This 8% is the attrition rate and gives a true conviction rate of 57% (8 / 14 x 100).

This then vindicates a decade long campaign culminating in the Stern Report etc, which sought to educate the Home Office that they were wrong and that the true conviction rate for rape has always been well over 50%.

The basis upon legislation was introduced and changed 20 years ago is, by modern standards, frightening.

Later in the parliamentary debate the work of Professor Sue Lees was mentioned. She had conducted a ‘landmark study’ ( Col 358: 12 Jun 1996) , monitoring ‘all contested rape trials’ at the Old Bailey over a four-month period in summer 1993.

Left: Prof Sue Lees (1941 – 2002)

From this small sample she found that judges allowed questions about victims’ past sexual histories in seven out of 10 rape trials. She recorded how judges continued to give defence barristers ‘free rein’ to ask the most intrusive and needlessly distressing questions of women who have been the victims of rape (something the Heilbron recommendations and the 1988 legislation should have killed-off).

The questions may look a little twee by today’s standards of full frontal nudity etc, but in her book “Carnal Knowledge: Rape on Trial“, Professor Lees gives examples of questions that, according to the spirit of the Sexual Offences Act 1976, should not have been allowed. Complainant were asked:

  • “Before this incident on 5 February, when was the last time that you had sexual intercourse with anyone?”
  • “Have you had sex with a man other than the defendant?”
  • What kind of material is your underwear made of?”
  • “Would you agree that it’s a dressy dress?”

These, Sue Lees maintained, were designed to embarrass the complainant, make her blush and to construct a “smokescreen of immorality” through insinuation and innuendo.

“In the trial transcripts I examined I found that the perfectly normal behaviour of young women is presented as evidence that they provoked the man’s attack or asked for it” were Sue Lees’ concluding remarks.

In a further study on Court of Appeal rulings about sexual history evidence in England & Wales, Professor Jennifer Temkin waded into the argument:

  • “The willingness of the Court of Appeal to see a wide range of evidence as relevant to ‘consent’ means that trial judges who refuse to allow in sexual history evidence do so at some considerable risk of a quashed conviction on appeal. It will be an inept defence counsel who is unable by some means or other successfully to apply under Section 2”. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199596/cmhansrd/vo960612/debtext/60612-33.htm

The only escape from the clutches of having a guilty verdict overturned because a defendent was not allowed to defend himself properly, was to alter the rules and laws appertainingi to how a defence team may operate. This was duly done.

END

Ref: Sue Lees is described as a leading feminist academic, writer and campaigner and was Professor of Women’s Studies unit (of which she was a co-founder),  at the University of North London – now London Metropolitan University ( see http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Sue/Sue1.htm).


[1] Pie Chart see ‘Call for new rape inquiry squads’, 9 July 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7496013.stm

Pupil power: teachers in crisis.

 By Robert Whston FRSA   Jan 5th 2011

Suicide is the latest weapon wielded by disaffected school children. Not their own suicide – more’s the pity one is tempted to inwardly reflect – but that of their teachers who some pupils or a group of pupils may simply dislike.

In a child’s armoury is, classroom disruption, non-compliance, wilful behaviour and a whole host of others but the most toxic of all has to be allegations of a sexual nature.

It stabs at the very vitals of the principle of “in loco parentis” and demolishes the parent-teacher confidence bond. But increasingly this has been the weapon of choice. Some pupils have had no compunction in making maliciously false allegations against teachers whom they dislike – and knowing full well the consequences.

In March 1999, Crispin Blunt MP described to the House of Commons how 700 people had attended the funeral of one 31-year-old teacher – cut down by pupil innuendo. They had come to honour the memory of a popular, committed teacher who took his own life while facing charges of behaving improperly with pupils in his care. [1]

He also voiced his fears over the future of the profession and the gender bias that political correctness was creating:

“There has been much discussion about the consequences of the absence of male role models for many children, not least those of single mothers. However, if we encourage a climate of paranoia and suspicion, it is hardly surprising that many young men are unwilling to enter the profession. The Bill offers the profession some protection against false allegations and it should lead to men more readily entering the profession and doing so with more confidence.”

Some years ago it was noted how the teaching profession in particular was getting more ‘on side’ with the idea of anonymity for defendants in sex offences. They were finding –  as we had found in our survey of the data – the abuses of the post-1988 process which granted life-long anonymity for complainants regardless of whether the complaint was true or not, itself amounted to an abuse of justice.

Between 1991 and 1998 there had been 974 police investigations into sexual abuse allegations made by pupils against teachers (as recorded by NAS/UWT members).

In 792 of the 974 cases no grounds were discovered for prosecution. Publicity in 80% of those cases did serious injustice to innocent teachers.

One of the ‘big three’ teaching trade unions, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), was wholly out of step with NAS/UWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers). The NUT has, over several decades, shown itself to be a more militant or hard line union, and so it proved to be over the matter of malicious allegations against teachers.

Whereas the NAS/UWT supported the 1999 move to support the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” for its members (Bill 78), the NUT declined to support the Bill.

The reasons given appear to be that it might ‘protect the guilty as well as the innocent’ and that “there is potential that the Bill could shield those guilty of serious crimes until after court proceedings are concluded.”

“Bizarrely, the National Union of Teachers does not appear to support the principle of innocent until proven guilty for its members. “It has declined to support the Bill as it will protect the guilty as well as the innocent … there is potential that the Bill could shield those guilty of serious crimes until after court proceedings are concluded. . . . I find the contrast between the NAS/UWT and the NUT most marked.” said Crispin Blunt.

However, by July 2010 it too had altered its position:

  • “If false or misleading information and rumours are circulated in the school community about a teacher the long lasting impact on innocent teachers can be devastating.”

The third of the teaching unions, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), representing approximately 160,000 teachers issued a press release in Nov 2010:

  • “We continue to believe that school staff who have an allegation made against them should have a right to anonymity whilst the allegation is being investigated, up to the point that they are charged with a criminal offence.
  • In our experience the publication of allegations prior to this point makes it much more difficult for innocent staff to resume their work and career. ATL also maintain that any reference to an investigation which subsequently proves to be false should be recorded very carefully to ensure no assumption of guilt can be read into it.”

Stonewalling and sandbagging killed off any reform in 1999.

The haemorrhaging of teachers leaving the profession nevertheless continued apace throughout the 2000s. Even a tax free “Hello Bonus” of £5,000 ($US 10,000) begun in 2000 – 01 for anyone joining a Teacher Training course plus a further £4,000 when joining the profession via a state school, still failed to fully staunch the flow. As the rate of turnover quickened it off-set any numerical gains in qualified teachers recruited.

In November 2004 a Consultation Paper was launched on a new process for dealing with allegations against teachers and school staff. The consultation covered the reduction of time scales, new procedures to improve the management of cases and, significantly, advice by the Association of Chief Police Officers that anyone under investigation should not be named until they are charged with an offence.

It could perhaps have been anticipated that progress would be slow bearing in mind that the government was reeling from a succession of child abuse scandals that it seemed unable to bring under control. It was in Nov 2001 that schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murdered at Soham.

This lead to an independent inquiry being set up to look into child protection measures, record-keeping, vetting and information-sharing, chaired by Sir Michael Bichard. The Inquiry’s recommendations would not be published until March 2005, but its findings were published in June 2004.

Nonetheless, the question of false allegations re-surfaced in 2004. By Dec 2004 Hansard (Column 762), records an extensive Commons debate with Tony Cunningham MP asking the Minister for School Standards, David Miliband, what steps he was taking to protect teachers from malicious allegations made against them by pupils ?

As a former teacher, Tony Cunningham MP, could speak with real knowledge of the matter.

The minister, David Miliband, admitted that both the trauma of abuse of trust and the trauma of unfounded allegations needed to be tackled.

  • “This area requires careful application of the law and due diligence in every case. I think that the trauma both of abuse of trust and of abuse of teachers needs to be dealt with in a serious way by this House, and not in a posturing way.”

Sir Patrick Cormack MP joined in the fray asking if the minister (David Miliband), agreed that the most important consideration was to preserve anonymity until we know that the man, or woman, charged is found guilty ?

David Miliband could not give that assurance but did concede that it was certainly the governments’ view that teachers should have their anonymity preserved until they are charged, if they were charged !

He backed up (excused) his position by stating that very few teachers are charged – about 17% of all such cases end in a prosecution (overlooking the damage done to the remaining 83% which concerned members). He also highlighted that about 70% of all cases are currently dealt with within three months, but that this figure would rise to 95% because ‘speed is of the essence.’

In addition, he pointed to the Assoc. of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) which had issued new guidance to preserve anonymity (but only up to the point, it turned out, of being charged, which was effectively no anonymity at all – see “Anonymity for defendants: a history since 1976” (https://falseallegations.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/11/)

David Miliband was thus relying on the word of ACPO and the Press Complaints Commission which had promised its members would voluntarily take a responsible approach to the matter:

  • “The Press Complaints Commission guidance is very clear about what those responsibilities are, and I would expect the press to follow that guidance.”

More empty gestures came in the form of Miliband reminding the House that;

  • “ . . . the sanctions on false and malicious allegations are extremely serious, including charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice.”

The lack of perjury cases brought per year ( see “Perverting the course of justice” https://falseallegations.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/10/ ) and the unobtainable figures for the number of cases brought for perverting the course of justice’ makes that assurance ring hollow.

Fortunately this naval gazing at exclusively the problems faced by teachers was interrupted by Chris Bryant MP who widened the issue by asking about those working in ‘youth support services.’ The terrible problem of poisonous malicious allegations, he said, had fed into that area of society too.

The first sign that the government might be talking the issue seriously came in his next reply. “When we speak of unfounded allegations and of anonymity”, said Mr. Miliband [then]. “simply to speak of teachers is not sufficient, given the range of professionals who work with young people. The safeguards that we want for children and for staff should apply to all those who work with young people in and out of schools.”

Tim Collins MP pointed to what was the fatal flaw in the government’s idea. Referring to the many teacher unions and the concession of preserving anonymity he added that promises and exhortations were not enough:

“ . . . But he knows that they want more than simple guidance from ACPO and exhortations to the media from the Minister, so why will he not act on what the teacher unions have specifically requested; legislation to guarantee anonymity in those circumstances ?”

Tim Collins then revealed the effectiveness of the ACPO guidance. A head teacher on the Isle of Wight had committed suicide (2004) because his details were released in that way. Details had been published in the local media, placed there either by people in schools or by the police and no one had noticed the ‘official guidance’ appertaining to such matters.

Mr. Collins asked why precisely the Minister would not legislate given that his party (Conservatives) is committed to support legislation on this matter.

“ . . . We will support any legislation that this Government introduce. If they continue to refuse to introduce that legislation, we will introduce it in a teacher protection Bill in the first Queen’s Speech of the next Conservative Government.”

The above statement silences those MPs, mainly women, who complained that the rush towards anonymity for sex offence defendants came ‘out of the blue’ and was not in the Tory Party’s manifesto, etc, etc.

END


[1] He faced charges jointly with a second teacher who was later acquitted of any guilt.

Whitehall and false allegations

 by Robert Whiston FRSA  Jan 3rd 2011

 

In 2002 it was claimed by the Home Office that New Scotland Yard had no idea how many false allegations of rape there were.

Andrew Paternoster, Policy Support advisor at the Home Office’s Sentencing and Offences Unit , wrote saying that as a result, “[New Scotland Yard] are unable to supply a estimated cost [ of false rape allegations ] due to the number of factors involved.

However, he did reassure me that, “researchers have estimated that false complaints account for only 2% of the rape statistics, which is about the same percentage as for many other crimes.”

The ‘only 2% of the rape claims are false’ is a self-fulfilling and circular assertion many authors take on trust and feel safe in doing so simply because everyone from police to HM Inspectors of Constabulary etc do so. No one can point to these ‘reseachers’. Institutions and lobby groups have simply manufactured a wall of deafness to defeat any challenge – no one cites the actual source, the specific literature or researcher.

However, information which I came across I forwarded in Aug 2010 to Nigel Hawkes at Straight Statistics (see http://www.straightstatistics.org/).

“ . . . .  the 2% figure originates in the US and has been frequently cited. An attempt to trace it to its source by a US lawyer, Edward Greer, found that it originated in the feminist writer Susan Brownmiller’s 1976 book “Against our Will”, using data quoted by a judge that in turn came from the Commander of the New York City Rape Analysis Squad in the mid-1970s. There appears to be no published report to substantiate the claim, nor any evidence of how the statistics were collected.”

It has taken until 2010 (8 years) for first the Stern Report and then the Ministry of Justice review to question the size and the lack of research into the question of false rape allegations

Did Andrew Paternoster deliberately not want to understand my letter when he wrote:

Polygraphs are not currently used in criminal court cases in England & Wales, as they are not considered reliable. The question here is whether they would be admissible as evidence – even if used voluntarily, as the use would require the views of a third  person, which would be classed by the courts as ‘hearsay’.

How and why does he make the leap from verifying stories in police stations, as I had suggested, to using polygraphs in court ?

Perhaps because on October 31st 2000, ‘The Independent’ carried a story headlined “Truth test to uncover false rape allegations” [1] which stated that:

“Between 10% and 41% of allegations of rape are made up by the “victim”, according to previous research. In the new test, a claimant’s statement is analysed and points are given from a list of set clues – people who have made up a rape allegation get a low score, while genuine complaints get a high score.

Using this technique in two studies, police officers and researchers had a success rate of between 72% and 100% in identifying genuine rape victims from liars.”

[Aside – If it was 41% ten years ago and approx. 50% today, will it be 60% in 10 years time ? ]

Andrew Paternoster then went further in not just missing the point of my enquiry but being disingenuous about what sticks in people’s minds;

“Investigating these crimes is a complex area, and reflects many of the misunderstandings and stereotypes involved in the handling of rape complaints . . . . . . Cases that appear to be false complaints are considered to be ‘newsworthy ‘, both within police stations and in the media. These cases stay in everyone’s minds, whereas the greater number of confirmed cases often does not.”

Getting traction when dealing with Whitehall is always difficult; they are particularly fond of blaming government or courts for powers they themselves claim not to have. An example is this:

“ …..  where a court decides to withhold a name from the public during the trial, the court has power to prohibit publication of that name. However, mindful of the need to preserve the principle of open justice, the courts have ordered that this power should only be used in limited circumstances, such as the safeguarding of the identity of children and young persons, complainants in rape cases, witnesses who might later be exposed to violence or blackmail, or revelation of whose identity might prejudice national security.”

What piffle ! All the above is set down in statute law and passed by parliament. The courts and judges have to bend to the dictates of government and to ministers who execute policies devised by Whitehall’s civil servants, ipso facto, what the Home Office wants the Home Office gets.

With regards a complaint I had also made about the presentation of Home Office data – statistics, evidence and the so-called ‘conviction rate’ etc – as circulated to newspapers in the form of Press Releases, he replied:

” . . . I am sorry I unable to comment on the way the Home Office statistics are presented to the public by newspapers.

We have no control on the way they are quoted.

The Home Office is quite frequently asked for statistics and it has a duty to provide them, but it has no control over the way that the statistics are quoted or interpreted. Therefore the Home Office is in no way able to comment on misinterpretations.

No control on the way they are compiled or quoted ? That’s not what happened during PSA-8 committee meetings when junior minister Rosie Winterton MP, alerted to errors in the Guardian’s coverage (of fathers being supposedly a lethal danger to their children), called in and corrected their representative and source of the story.

END